VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Nov. 17, 2020 – Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) is joining 130 U.S. and Canadian energy companies Nov. 16-20 for a weeklong campaign to expose the red flags of a scam and show how customers can protect themselves.
“Impostor scams cost consumers $667 million in 2019 alone, according to the Federal Trade Commission,” said Robert Duvall, president of Virginia Natural Gas. “With more customers conducting personal business online due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, this year it is particularly important that people know how to identify the signs of a scam.”
In recent years, scammers have expanded their schemes into digital spaces, such as email and social media. VNG strongly encourages customers to be skeptical if anyone:
Threatens to cut off their natural gas service if payment is not made within a short timeframe
Requests that payments be made from a single method, such as a debit card or checking account
Claims they have overpaid and their banking account or credit card number is needed for a refund
Informs them of a need to vacate their home so that a meter or other natural gas equipment can be replaced
Suggests on social media that their bill will be covered by a charity after they make a partial payment by way of a wire transfer
Virginia Natural Gas holds itself accountable to customers and communities it serves, which is why it reminds customers that it will never use aggressive or intimidating tactics to pressure them into making a payment toward their natural gas bill.
Customers who suspect or experience fraud should contact local authorities, and then call the customer care center phone number listed on their billing statement. And, customers who want to confirm that a VNG representative is scheduled to perform work at their premise should contact our customer care center at 1.866.229.3578.
In addition, whenever a field service representative or one of our contractors visits a customer’s home or business, they will provide VNG identification. And, as an additional safety measure to protect our customers, anyone who signs up to receive our Keep Me Informed appointment status text messages can access a photo of the technician assigned to perform work at their property.
Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service to more than 300,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in southeast Virginia. Consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the company also has been recognized by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for its safety, innovation, environmental stewardship, community outreach and educational programs, and has been named Local Distribution Company of the year four times since 2015. The company has been ranked by its business customers as one of the most Trusted Business Partners in the utility industry according to Cogent Reports, and as one of the Top Workplaces in Hampton Roads by Inside Business. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices below the national average. For more than a century, we have been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation and a low-carbon future, Southern Company and its subsidiaries develop the customized energy solutions our customers and communities require to drive growth and prosperity. Our uncompromising values.
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