Dominion warns of scams

Published 2:04 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Last year, scammers contacted nearly 2,800 Dominion Virginia Power customers, demanding fraudulent payments totaling more than $1.2 million. Hundreds of customers fell victim, paying nearly $200,000 in response to threats of immediate disconnection of electric service.

“While we are working in concert with law enforcement to identify, track and stop these scams, it’s important for customers to recognize the red flags,” Dominion Director of Corporate Security, Safety & Health Marc Gaudette said in a press release. “Unfortunately, the scammers frequently target the elderly, non-English-speaking communities and businesses during their busy times and use caller ID spoofing software so a customer thinks Dominion is calling.”

Vice President of Customer Service Becky Merritt said there are two “clear signs” a scammer is at the other end of the line.

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“First, we would never threaten a customer, even if their account is past due,” Merritt said. “Second, we would never insist on one specific, immediate form of payment — there are a number of options available to customers, including in-person at a verified payment location, secure payment through their online account, or our third-party payment processing vendor.”

Utility customers across the country are being targeted. Customers are reminded to do the following: Ask questions and verify what you are hearing by checking your online account or hanging up and then calling Dominion at 866-DOM-HELP.