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Danville Utilities once again is warning its customers about a phone scam involving a demand for immediate payment of utility bills. Restaurants again are the primary target.
Six weeks ago, restaurants were the target of a scam in which the caller advised the restaurant owner or manager that the check sent for payment of the utilities bill was unsigned and an immediate transfer of money was necessary.
“This time they are telling them that their bill is in arrears and they have to make immediate payment to avoid disconnection,” Carolyn Evans, director of customer service for Danville Utilities, said Tuesday. “They are even telling them a truck is on the way to disconnect their service.”
Evans said the department does not call any customer and demand immediate payment. A customer, instead, would be notified by letter of their outstanding balance and possible disconnection of service.
Four restaurants have notified the city of Danville this week that they have received telephone calls demanding immediate payment. Danville Utilities serves the customers; however, the caller claimed to be an employee of Dominion Virginia Power.
On Jan. 10, Dominion Virginia Power issued a warning to its customers about the phone scam. The company said the scammers had been targeting Spanish-speaking customers, the elderly and businesses throughout Virginia.
Utility scams are not new. Danville Utilities urges customers never to provide a Social Security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it unless you initiated the contact and know the identity of the person with whom you are speaking.
If you receive a call from someone you do not trust and who is urging you to make a payment to Danville Utilities, hang up and check the legitimacy of the call by contacting Central Collections at 434-799-5125 or by visiting the Charles H. Harris Financial Service Center, which is located at 311 Memorial Drive.
Danville Utilities’ website, www.danvilleutilities.com, offers a variety of approved and convenient options for bill payment.
Danville Utilities provides natural gas, water, wastewater and telecommunications services in Danville and distributes electricity to approximately 42,000 customer locations in a 500-square-mile service territory covering Danville, the southern third of Pittsylvania County, and small portions of Henry and Halifax counties.