Coronavirus

West Virginia Attorney General warns of utility scam circulating during COVID-19 crisis

West Virginia News

CHARLESTON, Wv. (WFXR) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a consumer alert in regards to scammers who may threaten to shut off utility services despite current restrictions on termination for nonpayment.

Companies including American Electric Power, First Energy, Dominion Energy, and West Virginia American Water are among those that agreed to keep utilities running for consumers even if they are unable to pay during the health crisis.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division received numerous reports this week of scammers imposing as representatives from these companies in order to steal money or personal identification. One consumer lost $2,500.

I applaud the Public Service Commission and every utility that agrees to suspend shutoff notifications during this perilous time . . . The coronavirus continues to impact every aspect of life, and acts of generosity such as this provide some peace of mind to consumers across West Virginia. Anyone receiving a shutoff notice should contact their provider to ensure it is not a scam.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

The Attorney General’s office warns the public that utility scams typically demand immediate payment and threaten service disconnection if the customer asks questions or fails to cooperate. They also note that consumers should be wary of callers who threaten to place holds or discontinue service on short notice and/or asks for prepaid debit cards, such as Green Dot cards, as a form of payment.

To report scammers, price gouging, or other issues, you may contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 368-8808. Written complaints may be filed at www.wvago.gov.

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