Scam calls from Dominion Energy impersonators on the rise as temperatures heat up

Posted at 5:10 AM, Jul 29, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - It's not just the temperatures rising on hot days - so are phone scams, according to Dominion Energy.

Annette Ballentine spoke of a recent moment where she received one.

"He said he was from Dominion, and that if I didn't pay that my electric bill, my lights were going to be turned off in the next, I think he said, four hours,” Ballentine said.

But there was just one problem.

"I said, 'That can't be true because it comes out of our checking account. It's been paid.’” Ballentine explained. “He says, 'No, it's been two months behind.’”

She said she knew it was a scam. Ballentine also mentioned her mother received a similar call and almost fell for the same.

"She was 90 years old, being scammed over the phone, and she had a credit card out,” Ballentine said. “I walked in at the perfect time with her giving someone her credit card number."

Ballentine thwarted the scam and took action by notifying Dominion.

"I found Bonita Billingsley's email and I sent her an email explaining that happened and told her I was concerned,” Ballentine recounted, referring to Bonita Billingsley Harris, communications specialist with Dominion Energy.

"Good for her for recognizing it was a scam. Kudos,” Harris said. "It's not abnormal to see these kinds of scams in hot weather and times like this."

Harris explained these scams pick up during hot days because people tend to use more electricity.

Related: Dominion Energy employee's phone number gets spoofed, scammer threatens customers with shutoffs

If you do get these calls, some red flags include the caller insisting you pay at that moment over the phone, requesting a prepaid card and threatening to shut off your power.

"We're not disconnecting customers right now, and we have not been disconnecting customers since March 2020,” Harris said. "As long as there are criminals in the world, we'll have scams. So, the more educated people can be, the better."