RICHMOND, Va. --Dominion Energy says every year they see an increase in scammers targeting victims, and that this year the scams seem to be starting early.
Here`s how the scam works:
The customer would get a call from a person pretending to be a Dominion Energy employee insisting that the customer`s account is overdue and would be cut off if payment is not received within an hour.
The victim is then instructed to buy a pre-paid card at a local store and call back a number provided by the scammer.
Dominion Energy say they are seeing a 49 percent increase in scam calls since 2016.
Richmond metro has seen more than 500 scam calls so far this year. Roughly, 2600 customers have reported getting the calls out of that number.
Some have been duped out of thousands so far this year.
''One thing that makes this scam seem so credible is that when the person calls back to make the payment, they hear a recording that sounds just like the call center that Dominion Energy uses,” said Janell Hancock/Spokesperson, Dominion Energy. “So, they assume they`re going through the proper channels to access their account.”
She added that Dominion workers don`t use scare tactics to get you to pay your bill. The company will reach out to you by phone and by mail multiple times to offer a payment plan to help you get back on track.