Dominion Virginia Power Urges Customers to Be on Guard Against Rise in Scams

- Don't fall for threats of disconnection of service in exchange for immediate payment

- Report suspicious activity to local police or call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP

- Scammers are targeting small businesses at busy and hectic times

Jul 10, 2015, 15:55 ET from Dominion Virginia Power

RICHMOND, Va., July 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power continues to urge customers to be on the lookout for scammers who threaten to disconnect electrical service immediately if payment is not made. The company urges customers to remember that Dominion does not take payment over the phone and never asks for immediate payment of cash, PayPal, 'MoneyPak/Green Dot' or any prepaid debit card as a prerequisite to keeping lights on. 

"Protecting our customers is top priority for Dominion," said Dan Jenkins, director-Corporate Security, Safety and Health. "We continue to work with local law enforcement to identify and monitor these scams and alert our customers to keep them safe. Small businesses and restaurants are frequently a target here and across the country, but they can protect themselves."

"It is distressing to hear that our taxpayers, families and valued members of our business community are being targeted in this scam," said Governor Terry McAuliffe. "My administration is committed to working with Dominion to arm Virginians with the information they need to protect to themselves from the criminals perpetrating this type of fraud."

"We take scams like this very seriously and work to prevent citizens from falling victim and will pursue these criminals to the fullest extent of the law," said Mark Herring, Virginia Attorney General.

"Scammers continue to use increasingly sophisticated methods to trick citizens, including caller ID technology that makes it appear as though calls are coming from the utility, even instructing customers to make payment at company offices in order to sound legitimate," Herring said. "That option isn't usually feasible to a customer, so the scammer pushes the option of payment over the phone. Consumers need to remember that a legitimate business will not operate this way. They should resist any pressure and if they're unsure about the legitimacy of a call, request an invoice in writing or hang up and contact the company directly to check on your account."

Being aware is the first step to protecting oneself from becoming a victim. Customers are urged to remember:

  • Stay calm. Scammers may contact businesses during a hectic or busy time to catch them off guard.
  • Dominion Virginia Power will never ask for payment over the phone or require payment on a pre-paid debit card.
  • Dominion does not direct customers to make payment at any of their offices; designated payment centers can be found online at https://www.dom.com/residential/dominion-virginia-power/customer-service/payment-options.
  • If a customer is behind on his/her bill, Dominion typically sets up a payment plan mutually agreed upon and provides a customer with multiple notifications in writing before power is scheduled to be disconnected.
  • If a customer is suspicious, they are encouraged to collect information from the scammer such as his/her name, any phone numbers or other details before hanging up and reporting to local law enforcement.
  • Customers should always call Dominion at 866-DOM-HELP to verify that the company is attempting to reach them before releasing any personal information.

For helpful tips about how to avoid scams, please visit www.dom.com/scams.

Dominion Virginia Power, a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D), is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 20,400 megawatts of generation and 6,455 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 928 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com/.

SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power