Be Alert! Business Owners Targeted in Dominion Energy Scam

1200px Dominion Energy logoThe Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) at the Norfolk Sheriff's Office received a call from a business owner reporting that his business had been contacted from a spoofed number.

The caller stated to the business owner that his name was Oscar Hernandez and that he was with Dominion Power. In the background was sound similar to that of a busy office which lent an air of authenticity to the call. The caller stated that the business owner had 20 minutes to pay his utility bill or the power to his business would be cut off.

The caller stated that several power bills sent to the business had gone unpaid. This made it obvious to the business owner that the caller was attempting to scam the business since the owner was very diligent in making his payments.

The business owner was told to call 1-800-860-0458 and choose option 2 for payment information. After disconnecting from the call, the owner reported the incident to us.

Tip: ALWAYS be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.

The CPU has passed this information on to Dominion Energy, but we also wanted to put out an urgent alert to other business owners in Norfolk that such a spoofing attempt was taking place.

If you've received a call like this, please report it to us be either using our Fraud Reporting Form, or by contacting Deputy Mike Imprevento of the NSO Consumer Protection Unit at (757) 664-4344.

If you've fallen victim to this scam and sent money to the callers, you should call the Norfolk Police Department's Economic Crimes Division at (757) 664-7018 to file a report.

Norfolk Residents Targeted in GreenDot MoneyPak Scam Using NSO Employee Names

green dot cardThe Norfolk Sheriff's Office has been notified that a Norfolk resident was recently swindled out of thousands of dollars in a Green Dot MoneyPak Card scam. The resident was told that she failed to appear at a trial during which she was supposed to be a witness. The victim stated the number on the Caller ID returned to the main number for the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office and the caller mentioned the names of several Norfolk Sheriff’s Office personnel during the conversation. The caller stated the victim owed multiple fines for failing to appear in court and was instructed to use a GreenDot MoneyPak card to send the money to the Sheriff’s Office or she would be arrested.


As a reminder, the Norfolk Sheriff's Office will NEVER call asking for money and will never utilize GreenDot MoneyPak cards as a form of payment.

Here are a few tips to help residents avoid falling victim to this scam:

• Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
• Never give card number and/or receipt information from your MoneyPak purchase to someone you don’t know or share that information by email or phone.
• Remember, government agencies will never contact you demanding immediate payment using a MoneyPak card.


GreenDot MoneyPak cards themselves are legitimate products when used for the right purposes. Once purchased at a participating retailer with cash, consumers can use MoneyPaks to reload other prepaid cards, add money to a PayPal account without using a bank account, or make same-day payments to major companies. Because the cards can only be bought with cash, consumers never need to disclose their personal or financial information to a retail cashier or to make a payment. While many schemes still involve scammers asking for funds to be wired to them, MoneyPaks have the added benefit of the scammer not having to show up at an office to claim the funds. Anyone with the 14-digit number found on the back of the MoneyPak card can drain the card of funds. In all of these examples, the intended victims are instructed to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak cards, load the amount of the fine or other money owed onto the card and then provide the number on the back of the card to the scammers, who will then drain the funds from the card.


If a resident has fallen victim to this scam and sent money to the callers, they should call the Norfolk Police Department's Economic Crimes Division at 757-664-7018 to file a report. Additionally, please contact Deputy Mike Imprevento of the NSO Consumer Protection Unit at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to report the fraud.

Unsubstantiated COVID-19 treatment claims appear on social media platforms

FTC Consumer Alert

Since the pandemic began, the Federal Trade Commission has sent hundreds of cease and desist letters to companies that claimed their products and therapies can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19. The sellers promoted their products and services through a variety of outlets, including social media.

Social media platforms have played a major role in conveying information about how to help stop the spread of COVID-19. But just because the information is running on a platform you use doesn’t mean it’s accurate or truthful. Right now, no one can afford to take information at face value. Before you act on a message you’ve seen or before you share it, ask — and answer — these critical questions:

  • Who is the message from? Do I know them? Do I trust them? Am I positive they are who they say they are?
  • What do they want me to do? Just know something — or are they trying to get me to act in some way? Do they want me to buy something, download something, or give up personal info?
  • What evidence supports the message? Use some independent sources to fact-check it — or debunk it. Maybe talk to someone you trust. But always verify, using a few additional sources. Once you’ve done that, does the message still seem accurate? Approaching information by asking and answering these questions can help you sort out what’s helpful…and what’s a scam. So, for example, if the message is about a treatment or cure, you know where to go:

Bottom line: when you come across information, stop. Talk to someone else. Focus on whether the facts back up the information you’re hearing. Good, solid evidence will point you in the right direction. Then decide what you think and what you want to do with the message – pass it on, act on it, ignore it, or roll your eyes at it. And if you suspect a scam, tell the FTC at so we can shut the scammers down.

November 18, 2021
by Colleen Tressler
Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

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Norfolk, VA 23510

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