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Dominion Virginia Power Warns Customers About Scammers Demanding Immediate Payment Of Utility Bills



  Dominion Virginia Power Warns Customers About Scammers Demanding Immediate
                           Payment Of Utility Bills

- Scammers claim to be Dominion employees, threaten to cut off power unless
paid immediately

- Dominion does not ask for specific payment information via telephone

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

PR Newswire

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 10, 2013

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power is
warning its customers about a scam involving phone calls from a person
claiming to be a company employee, demanding immediate payment of utility
bills. The caller claims electric service will be cut off unless the bill is
paid within a matter of hours, usually by using a pre-paid debit card such as
a "Green Dot card."

The caller also may claim that a problem with an electric meter could result
in a fire if not immediately replaced, offering reimbursement from Dominion at
a later date if payment is made now.

Dominion may phone customers whose bills are in arrears to remind them payment
is due, but never asks for specific payment information -- only directing
customers how to make a payment. The company encourages anyone who is
improperly contacted about making a payment over the phone to call
1-866-DOM-HELP and local law enforcement officials. In addition, customers
should ask to see an official Dominion ID from anyone who comes to their
residence and claims to be from the company.

"We hope this warning will be heeded and shared so that other customers can
avoid traps like this," said Gianna Clark, vice president of customer service
operations. "Scams are always troubling, particularly in these difficult
economic times."

The scammers have been targeting Spanish-speaking customers, the elderly and
businesses throughout Virginia, but all customers should be aware of the
possibility of being scammed. If you have questions or concerns about a phone
call from someone claiming to be a Dominion employee, report the suspicious
activity to Dominion by calling 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

The Better Business Bureau provides these tips to avoid falling for a scam:

  o Do 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. For Dominion customers, that number is 1-866-DOM-HELP
    (1-866-366-4357).
  o Beware 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.
  o Use your own personal information. Always pay your bills with your own
    personal information; never pay your bills with information that is not
    your own.
  o Beware 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.
  o Be 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.
  o Inform 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 (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters
of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,400 megawatts of generation
and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines.  Dominion 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, Karl Neddenien, +1-804-771-6115, Karl.R.Neddenien@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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