Scam Targeting Nelson County Utility Customers

Lovingston, VA - The Nelson County Sheriff's Office has a warning: Someone is trying to scam utility customers out of money.

In the last few days, someone's been calling customers' homes, claiming they're with the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative and trying to collect late bills. The problem is they aren't employees of the electric company at all.

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative's real customer service representatives actually answer phones and collect late payments. But recently, there's been an imposter.

Someone's been calling customers, telling them their bills are delinquent and suggesting they pay up using a Green Dot Card, explained Greg Kelly, the Member Services Representative.

Green dot is a reloadable credit card, allowing the scammer to cash in while remaining anonymous.

In the last week, Teresa Cox has taken three calls from customers saying basically the same thing.

"They were just concerned that they had received a call and that the amount that was stated to them wasn't actually the amount that they owed," Cox explained.

But it isn't just this cooperative or the five attempted scams in Nelson and Amherst Counties. It's apparently happening across the state.

"We've read reports that AEP, Dominion Virginia Power, and Shenandoah Electric Cooperative over in the valley are getting similar reports," added Kelly.

Investigators with the Nelson County Sheriff's Office say avoiding the scam is up to you. Investigator Billy Mays recommends being suspicious of any utility company asking for your credit card information over the phone.

The electric co-op says none of its customers have lost any money to this scam. But either way, the sheriff's office wants to know about it. Filing a report with law enforcement helps them track the number of incidents and file criminal charges if the suspects are ever tracked down.