WV Attorney General warns people of Utility scams

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Scammers are taking advantage of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why West Virginia Attorney Patrick Morrisey urged consumers to watch out for impostors threatening to shut off service.

The state’s largest utilities, including American Electric Power, First Energy, Dominion Energy and West Virginia American Water, announced a suspension of utility shutoffs as consumers deal with the fallout from the pandemic.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division received multiple reports about impostors pretending to be utility company workers threatening to disconnect service. By doing this, they are stealing consumers money or personal information. According to the release, one consumer lost $2,500 due to the scams.

“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.”

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Utility scams usually require a payment immediately and threatens the shutoff of service if the payment is not made. Such calls typically come from an impostor who claims to represent a familiar utility.

The Attorney General wanted to remind people to be cautious with any unsolicited email, phone call or other forms of communication. Never share personal, financial, and sensitive information unless it is a legitimate company.

For more information, or if you believe you have fall victim to any scams, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline, 1-800-368-8808, or you can file a written complaint on their website.

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