Norfolk restaurants targeted by scammers

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) – A Norfolk restaurant owner says a scammer posing as a  Dominion Virginia Power representative threatened to shut off the electricity immediately if he didn’t send a money-order.

Phil Decker, owner of D’Egg Downtown and D’Egg West, says the scammer called both of his restaurants Wednesday morning with the same threat.

“I get a call from what sounded like a pretty legit source – it sounded like it was Virginia Power, and they were getting ready to cut my power off – they said I had a delinquent bill,” Decker said.

Decker says the man on the other end of the phone sounded very polished and convincing.

“It’s obviously a rampant scam that they have running and I just feel like I’m a pretty sensible guy and I check everything pretty thoroughly and I was ready to go pay the bill,” Decker stated.

However, it was how the man demanded the bill be paid that tipped Decker off something wasn’t right.

“He wanted me to have me pay at the CVS and get a money order,” Decker remembers.

That’s when Decker hung up the phone and found a legitimate phone number for Dominion Virginia Power.

“Obviously you don’t want the doors to shut down on you, so after calling my bookkeeper, my accountant and everyone else and waiting 30 minutes on the line with Dominion Power, I found out that I had paid the bill and ‘Don’t worry about it – this is a scam that’s been going on,’” Decker told NewsChannel 3’s Todd Corillo.

Bonita Harris, a spokeswoman for Dominion Virginia Power, says unfortunately, scammers targeting Dominion customers isn’t new.

Harris says since November 2012, Dominion’s Corporate Security has been investigating cases where people get phone calls from someone claiming to be a Dominion Virginia Power representative.

The fake representatives tell the customer to make an immediate payment on their electric bill or be discontinued.

Harris says anyone who calls, texts or emails claiming to be a Dominion representative asking for personal information could be a scammer. In those cases, customers should hang up and report the suspicious activity to Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP.

Decker considers himself lucky to have not fallen for the scam.

“It’s a pretty good scam that they have and thank God they didn’t get me,” he said.

He hopes his story will serve as a warning for others.

“Imagine if they do that 100 times, somebody is going to bite,” Decker said.

5 comments

  • marv

    u know wat since when has dominion ever call u to let u know u gonna get cut off half the time by the time the notice comes in its cut off lol……stop ya smarter than that

  • Dera

    This happened to my diner on Wednesday. The man claimed we had not paid out power bill and threatened to shut it off ASAP. after numerous times demanding what month was “not paid” the man claimed it was last month. I told him that’s impossible. He demanded we pay now using our CC or he would send a representative within the hour to shut the power off. Naturally I told him to go ahead and send someone because I have the receipt. The caller ID showed Private Name & Private Number.

    • Ha ha!

      Funny how dumb crooks think people are, isn’t it? Must have pissed him off big time when you didn’t fall for it!

  • Linda W

    I got one of these calls. I worked for a power company and knew they don’t do business like this. I also knew my bill was up to date. I didn’t fall for it.

Comments are closed.


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