Dominion Virginia Power Warns Customers About Scam That Promises To Pay Utility Bills

   Dominion Virginia Power Warns Customers About Scam That Promises To Pay
                                Utility Bills

- Dominion Virginia Power customers among those victimized nationwide

- Scammers ask for personal information, posing risk of identity theft

- Better Business Bureau offers tips to avoid falling for a scam

PR Newswire

RICHMOND, Va., July 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:

  oBeware of giving personal information over the phone. Never provide your
    Social Security number, credit card number or banking information to
    anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated
    the contact and feel confident about the person with whom you are
    speaking.
  oUse your own personal information. Always pay your bills with your own
    personal information; never pay your bills with information that is not
    your own.
  oDo your research. If you receive a call claiming to be from your utility
    company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information,
    hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility
    bill.
  oBeware of the door-to-door sales approach. Never allow anyone into your
    home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless
    you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a utility problem.
    Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.
  oBe proactive. If you have already provided information to someone claiming
    to offer this service, contact your bank immediately. Also contact the
    three national credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – and
    have a notation made on your account so it doesn't impact your credit
    rating.
  oInform others. Share this information with friends and family so they do
    not become victims. Elderly victims are common in this type of scam, but
    anyone who pays a utility bill is a potential target.

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.

Follow us on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/DomVAPower.

'Like' us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dominionvirginiapower

SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power

Website: http://www.dom.com
Contact: Media: David Botkins, +1-804-771-6115, david.b.botkins@dom.com; Le-Ha
Anderson, +1-703-796-9308, le-ha.anderson@dom.com; Bonita Harris,
+1-757-857-2700, bonita.b.harris@dom.com
 
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