As Governor Northam has declared a State of Emergency in Virginia due to coronavirus (COVID-19), price gouging protections go into effect. You may read more on that here: https://www.oag.state.va.us/consumer-protection/index.php/news/390-march-12-2020-price-gouging-protections-in-effect-as-state-of-emergency-declared-over-coronavirus
If you do see cases of price gouging, please use the price gouging complaint form found here: https://www.oag.state.va.us/consumer-protection/files/PriceGougingComplaintFormOAG.pdf
Also, be on the lookout for other scams that are going around surrounding the coronavirus. Examples are:
- Look out for emails that claim to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that they have information about the coronavirus. For the most updated information you can visit the CDC and the World Health Organization websites.
- Do not click on any links from unknown sources. This could lead to downloading a virus on your computer or phone.
- Ignore any offers, online or otherwise, for a coronavirus vaccine. If you see any advertisements for prevention, treatment or cures ask the question: if there had been a cure for the disease would you be hearing about that through an advertisement or sales pitch?
- Thoroughly research any organizations or charities purporting to be raising funds for victims of the coronavirus.
- Look out for “investment opportunities” surrounding the coronavirus. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission there are online promotions claiming the products or services of certain publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure the disease and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase because of that.
An update from Dominion Energy also addresses scams during this pandemic. They want to remind their customers:
- Dominion Energy will not shut off your power for nonpayment.
People rely on Dominion Energy to meet critical needs, and they should not have to worry about losing service during this critical time. The company has suspended all service disconnections as individuals, families, businesses and communities pull together to meet our collective needs. They know the communities they serve rely on them to provide an essential service. Dominion Energy remains committed to providing reliable energy service 24/7. Dominion Energy also reports that they will be reconnecting residential customers whose services were shut off for nonpayment. Customers should contact them, and they will work with you to restore your service.
- Beware of scams.
Dominion Energy does not make calls requesting immediate payment or require customers to pay with prepaid cards of any kind. For more information, please click here.