(WAVY) — The holiday season brings out a lot of goodwill, but it also brings out the Grinch in some.
Dominion Energy is warning about an increase in scams as we approach the season of giving.
“As we being to gear up for the holiday season, scam artists are also working to figure out how to trick us out of our money,” said Bonita Billingsley Harris, media and community relations manager with Dominion Energy. “They know we’re busy, we’re running around trying to get a lot of things done and we might not be paying attention, we might be afraid that we have forgotten something. We’ve also been saving up so we can buy gifts for our loved ones over the holidays, and those scammers, they want to get that money without earning it for themselves.”
Billingsley Harris says Dominion Energy will never call and threaten to discontinue service if you don’t pay.
“We have continued our suspension of disconnects indefinitely,” said Billingsley Harris. “So that helps people understand a little bit easier that they are not going to be cut off if someone calls them on the phone and threatens ‘Make a payment or we’re going to cut you off.’ It’s just not true.”
So, how do you outsmart a scammer? First step: hang up the phone.
“Don’t call the number that the scammers give you, don’t believe it if you see ‘Dominion Energy’ on the caller ID, don’t believe it if you hear a recording that sounds like Dominion Energy,” Billingsley Harris said.
Then, check the status of your account either by calling Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP, going online, or using Dominion’s app.
Billingsley Harris says anyone can be the target of a scam, but they tend to target certain groups of people.
“One of the trends that we see is that they will target businesses during busy times, they will target people who are not native English speakers and they may be confused and afraid that they’re going to lose their power,” said Billingsley Harris. “They will target the elderly who are afraid that maybe they made a mistake or misunderstood something and they’re going to lose their power. So we just encourage anyone who gets a call from someone who says ‘Pay up now, or else’ to hang up.”
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