Jul 20, 2012
RICHMOND, Va., July 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power cautioned customers today not to divulge personal information such as a Social Security number or banking information to anyone offering to help them pay their utility bills through a federal program.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), there is no federal program to pay household bills, and providing personal information could lead to identity theft and credit issues.
"Scams are always troubling, especially in these difficult economic times when people are taking advantage of those who may already be struggling to pay their bills," said Gianna Clark, vice president of customer service operations. "We hope this warning will be heeded and shared so that other customers can avoid traps like this."
According to the BBB, victims in states across the country have been contacted by phone, text message, social media and in person. They were asked to "register" their Social Security number and banking information and to make payments using what turns out to be a fake account number.
Dominion encourages anyone who is contacted about a government program proposing to pay utility bills to contact the BBB and local law enforcement officials. Dominion also cautions customers to ask to see an official Dominion ID from anyone who comes to their residence and claims to be from the company.
Dominion Virginia Power has notified approximately 60 customers that their payments could not be processed because the accounts they provided were found to be invalid. Dominion is waiving the return fee it usually charges.
The BBB provides these tips to avoid falling for a scam:
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 28,000 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
NOTE: This scam is not limited to Dominion Virginia Power but affects utility customers nationwide, including customers of Dominion North Carolina Power, Dominion East Ohio and Dominion Hope.
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SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power
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