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Scam targeting residents of NE Ohio



Published: Mon, August 5, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

Dominion East Ohio works with state AG’s office, PUCO in effort to stop the calls

By Burton Speakman

bspeakman@vindy.com

youngstown

A scam has been circulating in Northeast Ohio in which callers claim to be from Dominion East Ohio and offer lower gas rates.

Residents of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties have received calls from someone claiming to be from the company wanting to talk to them about lower rates, said Kate Hanson, public information officer for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“We don’t want people to interact with these callers,” she said.

Most of the complaints are about people getting calls who are on the “do not call” list, Hanson said. In most cases, those complaining did not engage with the caller or provide any personal information. There even have been multiple calls to one number, she noted. The calls are coming from the 440 and 740 area codes.

A few calls reported in the Cleveland area were a little different, she said.

“In those cases, people were told they needed to pay their bill by sending a prepaid card,” Hanson said. “In one incident, the caller threatened that the person’s utilities would be shut off.”

There have been more than 100 calls from the region to the attorney general’s office about the scam, Hanson said.

“One of the things we know is that if this many people out there have reported the calls, there are a lot more who haven’t,” she said.

Dominion East Ohio has been made aware of the calls and has been working with the attorney general’s office and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to address them, but has not been able to stop the calls, said Neil Durbin, spokesman for Dominion East Ohio.

“The most important thing for customers to remember is that Dominion East Ohio does not engage in telephone solicitation and that we are not responsible for these calls. Customers can always call the company directly if they ever have a question about their bill or their services,” he said.

Dominion East Ohio also has sent a letter to customers to inform them about the calls, Durbin said.

The letter states, “It is important to note that DEO does not engage in telephone solicitation and is not responsible for the calls you are receiving. Further, we wish to provide you with some suggestions that you and others may use to report these harassing calls to the proper authorities.”

The company also reminds people not to give personal information; to ask the person on the phone to identify himself or herself; and, if they have a question about whether the call is legitimate, to hang up and call Dominion at 800-362-7557.

Consumers who suspect a scam can contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.


Comments

1bgreene(139 comments)posted 1 year ago

Duh?

These unsolicited calls have been going on for months and months.

Many people who have placed their numbers on the do-not-call list (including me) have been receiving calls on a daily basis (sometimes even more than one call per day).

The Vindicator is just reporting on this now? Your timing is pretty bad. This is old, old, old news.

How about reporting on the unsolicited calls for "home security systems" and "offers to reduce your credit card rate". Those are timely stories.

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2dmacker(267 comments)posted 1 year ago

The number is 440-617-5637 in case the Vindicator wants to do something besides reporting old news.
The calls come in multiple times during the day and mostly when you answer there is no one on the line.
They must be using a phone bank to call multiple numbers and are already on with someone else. You would think that Dominion would do more to stop these calls in their name.
Being on the Federal do not call list doesn't help and the only solution seems to be to block the number.
It seems odd to me that no one is able or willing to shut these harassing caller down.
I guess they figure it's jobs for the callers.
As for me I'm switching from Dominion as soon as my current contract is up.

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3southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 1 year ago

bottom feeders preying upon people

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4gdog4766(1467 comments)posted 1 year ago

How about (card services) who state your credit is at risk. I have spoken directly with them twice and stated I was on the do not call list. They don't care they keep calling.

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5oldsouthhighwarrior(23 comments)posted 1 year ago

bgreene gdog I'm in Florida I get the same calls ya'll get. I'm on the no call list, seems it dose not matter. I wonder if they get our numbers from the no call list.

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6gdog4766(1467 comments)posted 1 year ago

No they robo call. They have system that just dials one number after another.

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