Dominion Virginia Power warning customers of utility scam

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — If you’re a Dominion Virginia Power customer, scammers are targeting you.

According to Dominion, scammers contacted nearly 2,800 Dominion Virginia Power customers in 2015, demanding they pay on a prepaid debit card. Hundreds of customers fell victim, believing threats that they pay or get their service disconnected and ultimately, paying scammers about $200,000.

The scammers are clever and use caller ID spoofing software so a customer thinks they are actually receiving a call from Dominion. According to the company, the elderly, non-English-speaking communities and businesses during their busy times are most at risk to fall for the scam.

Dominion has joined forces with a coalition of utilities spanning the eastern United States, called “Utilities United Against Scams” to fight the con-artists that have been targeting customers.

Here are some scam prevention tips from Dominion Virginia Power:

  • Ask questions and verify what you are hearing by checking your online account or hanging up and then calling Dominion at 866-DOM-HELP.
  • Remember that Dominion does not require payment over the phone and never demands immediate payment of cash, PayPal, any prepaid debit card such as ‘MoneyPak/Green Dot’, or any gift card (such as Amazon, Target or iTunes) to avoid disconnection. Payment by phone is available through BillMatrix at 1-800-573-1147.
  • Collect information from the scammer including the caller’s name, any phone numbers or other details before hanging up and reporting to local law enforcement.