While the holidays are a time of joy and family, less-than-savory sorts can also use it as a time to prey on unsuspecting homeowners.
“The holidays can be stressful, and scammers often target customers during this busy time of year,” says Corynne Arnett, Vice President – Customer Service, Dominion Energy.
To help, Dominion energy offers the following insights:
Recognize the red flags of utility scamming activity
– While robocall scams can be relatively easy to spot, effective scammers continue to make personal phone calls. Some scammers may employ scare tactics, while others will try to gain your trust by sounding friendly and sympathetic.
– Many utility scammers try to instill fear and a sense of urgency by threatening immediate service disconnection if you don’t provide payment information over the phone or agree to pay your energy bill with a prepaid debit or gift card.
– Some utility impostors may falsify their caller ID to appear they are using a local number or even an energy company’s customer service number. When in doubt, hang up and call the number located on your energy bill.
– Don’t let anyone into your home unless you have a previously scheduled appointment or have called about an issue. Always check for proper identification before letting personnel in. Additionally, utility workers won’t ask you to pay an energy bill in person.
What to do if you think you have received a scam phone call:
– Don’t provide any identifying information such as your social security, credit or debit card numbers.
– Hang up. Customers can always verify their account balance and payment due date by signing into their accounts.
– Report suspicious calls, texts and email to your service provider and local authorities.