Scam impacts Dominion customers

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Officials with Dominion VA/NC Power have been receiving reports from customers being contacted from scammers using sophisticated technology to make people believe they are from Dominion.

“They’re targeting victims across Virginia and North Carolina, threatening to turn off electricity if payment isn’t received within an hour or two,” said Bonita Billingsley Harris, Dominion’s Media/Community Relations Manager. “That includes local businesses during their busiest times of the day. We’re hoping the media can help us warn customers today not to be the victims of scams. If you have any questions, please call our Media Line for Eastern Virginia and North Carolina – 757-857-2367.”

Harris stressed that Dominion does not threaten to turn off power in exchange for immediate payment.

“Dominion provides customers with multiple notifications by mail and by phone to work out a plan before power is disconnected, but does not take payment over the phone,” she stated. “Customers will be directed by the Dominion representative to make payment through the customers’ online MYA account, by mailing a check to the billing department.”

While Dominion may phone customers whose bills are in arrears to remind them payment is due, Harris stated that the company never asks for specific payment information.

“We only direct customers how to make a payment. If you have a problem paying your bills, we will work with you to figure out a reasonable payment plan — we do not threaten you,” she stated.

In the event Dominion customers are contacted by a scammer, Harris recommended the following tips:

Collect as much information as you can from the scammers, to include the address of the location where they are expected to buy the card and the type of pre-loaded debit card (scammers typically demand that payment is made using this type of financial transaction);

Capture any phone numbers, call back numbers, first and last names;

Ask if you can mail payment and collect a physical address;

Ask if you can pay at a bank and the name and address of the bank;

Ask how the payment process works and document it;

Note the gender or anything noteworthy about the caller, such as an accent;

Note the time of day they called;

Ask why there is a change in the payment process; and

Ask if they will be provided with a confirmation number or receipt if payment is made.