FRAUD ALERT: Don’t Let This Utility Scam Leave You Out In The Cold

Fraud Alert

BBB Alert: Don’t Let this Utility Scam Leave You Out in the Cold

Roanoke, VA (January 20, 2015) – Winter has arrived and as the temperature continue to drop, heating costs continue to rise. Utility bills aren’t the only thing on the rise- the nasty weather is also attracting a nasty scam.

Businesses in Western Virginia are reporting receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be their electric utility company threatening to turn off their power unless an immediate payment is made. The caller claims to represent Appalachian Power and requests payment through a pre-paid debit card.

Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power, has issued the following alert on their website:

Thieves are calling our customers, threatening to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made. Appalachian Power never asks for pre-paid debit cards for payment. Please use our authorized payment methods, and call us at (800) 956-4237 if you have questions or concerns.

The caller may sound official, and may threaten to immediately cut off the power if payment is not received. One business owner reported to BBB that the call came from a 1-877-303-0600 number and claimed to be American Electric Power. We called on 1/17/15 and a recording claimed to be American Electric Power. When we called the number just three days later on 1/20/15, we heard a recording stating we had reached the “NV Energy Disconnection Dept.” NV Energy is a legitimate utility company based out of Nevada. It appears the scammers are using the same set of phone numbers, and are
re-recording their messages using the name of a utility company that serves the zip code they are currently targeting.

“If anyone calls you and demands immediate payment accompanied by threats, hang up the phone,” says Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western VA. “A legitimate company will not operate in this manner. If you have an account with the company the caller is claiming to represent, use a verified number to call the company to check the status of your account. Never use the number supplied by the caller.”

BBB advises the following:

  • Confirm that you are speaking to a utility representative.  If you have any concerns, tell the caller that you will independently check the phone number for the utility to verify the caller’s identity and information. The toll free number for Virginia AEP consumers is 1-800-956-4237.
  • Be wary of anyone demanding immediate payment or payment in forms that are difficult to trace, such as Western Union, MoneyGram or GreenDot MoneyPak cash cards.
  • Never give your credit card, debit card, Social Security, ATM, checking or savings account numbers to anyone who comes to your home, calls or sends an email requesting information.
  • Never allow anyone claiming to be a utility service person into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment and the person has proper identification. Contact police if you become concerned about your safety.
  • If you believe you may be the victim of a scam, you may contact your utility company, or you may call the BBB at (800) 533-5501.

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies and 11,000 charities, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.

 

If you need more information, contact the BBB at (540) 342-3455 or (800) 533-5501. You can also visit www.bbb.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BBBWesternVA and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BBBWesternVA.

Download a PDF of this Fraud Alert from the BBB

Traffic Alert: Section of Route 696 (Crouch Road) Will Be Closed

road closed

Traffic Alert

Beginning Monday, October 30, 2014 a section of Route 696, (Crouch Road) will be closed to traffic for pipe replacements.

The road will be closed between Route 617, (Pike Road) and approximately 0.5 miles west of the intersection of Route 695 (Goose Creek Valley Road).

The road will reopen Friday, December 5, 2014

Bedford County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Alert: Don’t Get Scammed! US Treasury E-mail Scam

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PRESS RELEASE
September 3, 2014

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office would like to alert the citizens about a possible email phishing scam that citizens have reported receiving.
The email claims it is from the US Department of Treasury stating that Jacob “Jack” Lew, Secretary of Treasury, will release $500,000 to your bank account and all you have to do is provide $150 and your bank account information.
Any email from any government agency (federal, state, or local) will require you to come in person or verify your identity before discussing any sensitive information with you. There is not a single government agency that will ever request bank account or sensitive information via email or request payment over email. Don’t be scammed!
If you look carefully at the sample email below you will see that the “From”, “Reply-to”, and “To” information lists the email accounts as coming from gmail.com or qq.com. QQ.com is a foreign domain. This information is known as the ‘header’ information. You can use this information to determine if the message you receive is legitimate or not.
Also note in the sample at the bottom the request to respond to ‘infotreasury@terra.com’. Terra.com is also a foreign based website.

Scam Email Sample

 

If you receive this email please contact the US Department of Treasury directly to report it. The US Treasury does not send unsolicited requests and does not seek personal or financial information from members of the public by email.
If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from or involving the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):
report it to phishing@irs.gov according to these instructions.
If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, report it to the Treasury Office of Inspector General Hotline by:

online form
Email: hotline@oig.treas.gov
Call 1-800-359-3898 (toll free)
Above information from http://www.treasury.gov/services/report-fwa/Pages/Report-Email-Scams.aspx

Download a PDF Press Release

Information Needed About Goodview Area Home Burglaries

aboutusPRESS RELEASE
August 25, 2014

Bedford County Sheriff’s investigators are investigating home burglaries and larcenies from homes, boat docks and out buildings in the Goodview area of Bedford County. The crimes occurred July 30, 2014 through August 18, 2014. Victims report money, guns, jewelry, lawn equipment and fishing equipment taken. Investigators advise that a white male, wearing camouflage clothing, has been seen in the area of the crimes. Also a small red truck, a blue pickup and a small white car has been seen in the area of the crimes. Investigators believe some of the crimes may have been committed by a suspect(s) on a bright colored kayak.

Anyone with information on these crimes should call the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-586-7827, submit a tip over the web, or Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. Crime Stoppers callers remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward up to $1,000.00 for information that helps solve these crimes.

Download PDF Press Release

Possible Scam Artists Targeting Churches Around Bedford

Quentin Hartwick Hannah Mayberry Timothy Hastings
Quentin Hartwick
Hannah Mayberry
Timothy Hastings

POSSIBLE SCAM ARTISTS

These three subjects visit churches in the Town of Bedford/Bedford County area, usually on a Friday or a Sunday, asking for help. When they are told that they cannot be helped at the time they tend to get angry and belligerent.

If any of them visit your church please contact the Bedford Police or Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540‐586‐7827 or dial 911.

Download PDF Flyer

 

BCSO Needs Information Regarding Burglaries of Storage Units

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PRESS RELEASE
MAY 8, 2014

Bedford County Sheriff’s investigators are investigating numerous burglaries of storage units that have occurred since January 2014.  Suspect(s) are gaining entry into a single unit and are then able to access adjoining units. After gaining entrance, suspect(s) are stealing various items (jewelry, silverware, dinnerware, etc.). Storage units located in Moneta, Thaxton, New London and Forest have all been victimized.

 Anyone with information on these crimes is asked to call the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office 540-586-7699, use our anonymous web crime tip form or contact Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. Crime Stoppers callers remain anonymous and could receive cash reward at to $1,000.00 for information that solves the crimes.

 

Download the PDF Press Release

Road Closure Notice: Route 684 Penicks Mill Road

 

road closed

Beginning Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 a section of Route 684 (Penicks Mill Road) in Bedford County will be closed to replace the bridge over Camp Creek.

The road will be closed between Route 685 (Breezy Ridge Road) and Route 688 (Buffalo Run) in the Thaxton area of Bedford County.

Detour signs will be in place to direct traffic.

Weather permitting, the road will reopen on Friday, October 11.

 

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Help the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office Find This Criminal!

PRESS RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 13, 2013

At 10:43 a.m. today , Bob Terry, owner of Terry’s Country Store, called the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and advised that a white male entered his store and asked to see the pocket knives. When Terry removed them from the case the suspect left the store. He then returned and grabbed several knives and left. Terry stated the suspect got into a dark colored 90’s model Jeep Cherokee being operated by a white female. The suspect is described as a white male, 6 foot tall, 220 pounds and wearing a blue shirt.

TERRY'S COUNTRY STORE SUSPECT SEPT. 13, 2013

09-13-2013 TERRY’S COUNTRY STORE SUSPECT

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-586-7827 or Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. Crime Stoppers callers remain anonymous and could receive a reward up to $1,000.00 in cash. Alternatively you may submit your crime tip through the BCSO Website.

Download the PDF Press Release

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Help the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office Identify and Locate Sanjay Patel

PRESS RELEASE
AUGUST 9, 2013

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating Sanjay Patel (also known as Sunny). Patel stands accused of assaulting three females, while being employed at a local convenience store in Bedford County. At this time, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security are unable to obtain necessary identifying information to obtain warrants. Patel lives in the Roanoke area.

Anyone with information on Sanjay Patel is asked to contact Investigator Scott Arney at 540-586-7827 or Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. Crime Stoppers callers remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward up to $1,000.00 for information. You can also submit info through our web tip form.

sanjay patel

SANJAY PATEL

 

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Closed Roads Report – Section of Rt. 670 Closed for Bridge Deck Replacement

road closed

TRAFFIC ALERT:

BEDFORD COUNTY – A SECTION OF ROUTE 670 TO CLOSE FOR BRIDGE DECK REPLACEMENT

Beginning Monday, June 10, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. thru Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. a section of Rte 670 (Roaring Run Rd) will be closed to traffic and will remain closed until the bridge deck repairs are complete.

The location of the work is approximately 0.70 miles from Rte. 644 (Lankford Mill Rd) and 2.80 miles from Rte. 637 (Hawkins Ridge Rd).

Motorist will need to use alternate routes during this time.

For up to date info please refer to the Virginia 511 website

 

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