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Virginia Natural Gas Warns Customers of Potential Utility Scams

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Nov. 15, 2017 – Virginia Natural Gas is committed to the personal and financial security of its customers, and is joining natural gas and electric utility companies across the United States and Canada to protect customers against utility scams.

Wednesday, Nov. 15 has been designated as Utilities United Against Scams Day, a campaign to expose the tactics scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves. The Utilities United Against Scams collaboration also encourages the public to share these messages to help guard against scam activity.

Virginia Natural Gas is advising its customers of the following safety guidelines to protect themselves and their families against potential scams activity:

Red flags for scam activity

  • The individual becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
  • The individual instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to the company.
  • The individual asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.

How to protect yourself

  • Whenever a field service representative or one of our contractors visits your home or business, they will provide Virginia Natural Gas identification. If you have further concerns, please contact customer care at 1- 866-229-3578 to confirm that a representative has been scheduled to perform work at your premises.
  • When a customer service representative contacts you by phone regarding the status of your account or to discuss payment, they will identify that they are a Virginia Natural Gas employee.
  • If you want to verify that the call is legitimate, request to have the representative confirm information about your account that only you and the company would know, including the date of your last payment, the amount of your last payment and your account number.
  • Virginia Natural Gas will never demand payment by one method such as prepaid debit /ATM card or checking account.
  • Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of any call from Virginia Natural Gas, especially one in which payment is requested, should call us directly. If you feel uncomfortable and know you have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved, hang up and call us directly.

Customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with an individual posing as a company representative, should contact local authorities, and then the Customer Care Center at 1-866-229-3578.

For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com or follow on social: Twitter @VaNaturalGas and Facebook @VirginiaNaturalGasCo.

About Virginia Natural Gas

Virginia Natural Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to 293,000 customers in southeast Virginia.  Virginia Natural Gas has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers, and in 2016 was ranked second in customer satisfaction among mid-size utilities in the South and third nationally by J.D. Power and Associates. Also in 2016, Virginia Natural Gas was recognized as an Environmental Champion by Cogent™ Reports and as the Local Distribution Company of the Year by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association. For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/VaNaturalGasCo) and Twitter (Twitter.com/VaNaturalGas).

About Southern Company Gas

Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company.  Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.6 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com.

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Media Contact:
Duane Bourne
o: 757.616.7510  |  c: 757.955.0363 |  dbourne@southernco.com