July 1, 2014
Dominion Virginia Power is warning its customers about a scam in which robbers gained access to homes by posing as utility workers.
The company says several incidents of this type have been reported to police in the past few days in Northern Virginia.
"We want our customers to be safe and secure and completely confident whenever they interact with our employees," said Dan Jenkins, director-Corporate Security, Safety and Health. "Think twice before allowing anyone you don't know into your home - no matter who they say they work for."
Dominion Virginia Power employees rarely need to enter a home to provide service. Independent energy contractors working on Dominion conservation programs such as Home Energy Check Up may contact customers directly to schedule an appointment. These contractors should carry and present proper identification and program materials when they arrive.
"If you feel threatened, call 9-1-1 immediately," Jenkins said. "If any customer ever has a question about the authenticity of a person presenting themselves as working for Dominion Virginia Power or 'the power company,' keep your door locked and ask them to remain outside while you verify their identity."
Dominion Virginia Power can be reached at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to verify the identity of anyone who says they work for the company.
In these and other cases, police say scam artists use various ruses to get money or gain access to the home, saying they want to check on a lights-out situation, lay power lines, conduct energy audits, fix or replace meters, or collect money for overdue power bills.
Recently, there also have been several telephone-based scams by people identifying themselves as power company employees and demanding that the customer pay immediately in cash or by a "green-dot" card or their power would be disconnected.
Dominion Virginia Power does not ask customers by telephone or in person to pay immediately in cash or by green-dot cards that serve as cash. It may ask customers who are behind on their bills to go to an authorized Dominion Virginia Power payment center to pay their bill.