VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Nov. 15, 2022 – With utility scams on the rise, it is more important than ever for customers to be vigilant and know what steps to take to prevent themselves or their families from falling victim.
Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) is joining 150 U.S. and Canadian energy companies marking November 16, as Utility Scam Awareness Day. The purpose is to raise awareness of and help educate consumers on the tactics used by scammers. Many electric, water, and natural gas customers throughout the country are being targeted by imposter utility scams each day.
“The first step in protecting our customers from a scam is making them aware of the common tactics that scammers use,” said Robert Duvall, Virginia Natural Gas president. “We’re partnering with energy companies across the country to educate our communities about this important issue.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission, fraud cost consumers more than $5.8 billion in 2021 – an increase of nearly $2.5 billion from 2020. Nearly $2.3 billion of the losses reported were due to imposter scams.
In recent years, scammers have gotten deceptively creative with increased calls, texts, emails, and in-person tactics, contacting electric and gas customers asking for immediate payment to avoid service disconnection.
VNG strongly encourages customers to stay vigilant of potential scam activity such as:
Customers who suspect or experience fraud should hang up, delete the email, or shut the door then immediately contact local authorities, followed by a call to the Customer Care Center phone number listed on their billing statement. Customers who want to confirm that a VNG representative is scheduled to perform work at their premises 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 photo identification. And, as an additional safety measure, customers who sign 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.
For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com/fraud.
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