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The original item was published from 12/13/2012 4:39:52 PM to 12/13/2012 5:15:48 PM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: December 13, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Danville Utilities warns restaurants of bill scam

Danville Utilities warns food service workers not to provide business information over the telephone. The department is issuing the warning following reports of a phone scam targeting restaurants.

In the scam, a caller advises the restaurant owner or manager that the check recently sent for payment of the utilities bill is unsigned. In order to avoid disruption in service, the restaurant must immediately transfer money to an account number that the caller provides. However, the money is loaded on a pre-paid credit card and then immediately transferred.

A caller posing as a representative of Danville Utilities has contacted two local restaurants this week, Police Lt. John Henderson said Thursday. One of the restaurants transferred money as requested.

“These callers can be convincing,” Henderson said. “However, this is not the way Danville Utilities does business.”

Carolyn Evans, director of customer service for Danville Utilities, said Thursday that a customer who fails to sign their check would be notified by letter. “We would return the original check with the letter,” Evans said. “We also would do this if a customer fills out a check for an incorrect amount.”
Evans added, “We would never call any customer requesting immediate payment.”

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 dialing 434-799-5125 or by visiting the customer service office at 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.

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