MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Residents of Mount Pleasant have been receiving telephone calls with a recorded message from “Dominion Energy” saying that their electricity was going to be turned off in 30 minutes.
According to the Mount Pleasant Police Department’s Facebook post, the message added that they needed to call another number to rectify the situation.
Officials stated that the number you call identifies the company as “Dominion Energy” and gives you automated call options.
One option being bill pay which connects you with a scammer who verifies personal information such as an address and telephone number. The suspect then pulls up your account and says that you failed to pay a $500.00 deposit that must have slipped through, according to officials with the Mount Pleasant Police Department.
The scammer advises you to drive to a call center or go to a CVS to get a MoneyPak and informs you that the MoneyPak allows for same-day payment. Then the scammer then directs you to call another number to give him the receipt number of the MoneyPak so he can stop the technician from disconnecting your power.
Public Affairs Specialist Paul Fischer released this statement:
Scammers do not know billing cycles. If you know you’ve paid your balance on time, hang up immediately. Similarly, if you don’t remember your balance due date or have an overdue balance, do not provide any identifying information over the phone, and call Dominion Energy customer service at 800-251-7234. Representatives are always ready to help customers with payment concerns.
Some utility impostors may falsify their caller ID to make it appear as if they are calling from a local number or Dominion Energy’s customer service number. When in doubt, hang up and call Dominion Energy.
Scammers typically demand immediate payment and threaten service disconnection. Dominion Energy will not ask for banking or credit card information over the phone or ask customers to pay using a prepaid or gift card. Dominion Energy will notify you through multiple methods before disconnecting gas or electric service for non-payment. We also call the day before the scheduled disconnection.
In-person scams, while far less common, may also occur. Utility personnel will never ask for bill payment in-person.
This scammer is using just enough legitimate information to make the calls sound convincing but please do not send him any money. One number the scam call is coming from is 1-800-251-7234 but may come from other numbers.