CLEVELAND, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion East Ohio is proud to stand with its fellow natural gas distribution companies, as well as utilities in the water and electric sectors, to observe the inaugural Utilities United against Scams Day (UUASD) on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, and raise awareness about utility scams throughout the week.
Most utility scams involve criminals posing as natural gas, electric or water provider employees — either in person, over the phone or via internet — and demanding immediate payment via cash, credit cards or prepaid debit cards, supposedly in order to prevent service disconnection. These unscrupulous criminals can be very convincing, and often target those who are most vulnerable, including the elderly and non-native English speakers. However, with the right information, customers can learn to avoid and report these predatory scams.
Customers who believe they have been targeted by utility scammers should follow these tips:
- Hang up the phone or close the door, and call your utility company's verified direct phone number, which is 1-800-362-7557, for Dominion East Ohio.
- Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card, a wire transfer, or any other form of payment, which may be difficult to trace.
- Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers.
- If you are shopping for an Energy Choice natural gas supplier, only share your Dominion account number after you have accepted a participating Energy Choice or governmental aggregation gas supplier's rate offer.
- Delete any emails from utilities that are not your service provider. Also delete all suspicious emails that require immediate action to verify or demand personal information.
- To learn more about scams that may be active in your area, or if you have questions about the authenticity of communications from persons claiming to be utility representatives, Contact your local police through the non-emergency telephone number, the Ohio Attorney General's office at 1-800-282-0515, and/or contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
UUASD is a collaborative effort among the electric, gas, and water utility industries to help prevent utility service fraud through education, awareness, and customer advocacy initiatives. A primary goal of this collective effort is to help customers learn how to identify and avoid utility-related scams.
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 25,700 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,500 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 933 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves more than 5 million utility and retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
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SOURCE Dominion East Ohio