Police Warn Public of Utility Scam

Fairfax County Police Department
Public Information Office
4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Va. 22030
703-246-2253. TTY 703-204-2264. Fax 703-246-4253
News Release:13/144/LHC
May 24, 2013


Police Warn Public of Utility Scam


            Fairfax County Police are seeing a trend in the number of victims reporting a scam involving utility payments recently.

            The agency has received dozens of reports that someone is contacting residents claiming that their electric meter is broken and that it could even explode, if they don’t buy a payment card and pay up immediately. The scammer tells residents that they should go to a convenience store, purchase a pre-payment card in the amount of several hundreds of dollars or their power will be shut off.

            Many times, residents are frightened and feel intimated by the scammer. While residents of all ethnicities have been victimized, recent targets appear to be Latino residents. Some live in apartments or multi-dwelling units. The scammer speaks in Spanish and has, on several occasions, identified himself as “Jose Martinez.”

            Police warn the residents to contact Dominion Power or other utilities, as well as police, if they receive calls of this nature. Remember, never provide your social security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone unless you initiative the contact with the call. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up and call the utility to report the incident.

            To learn more about scams and the Financial Crimes Unit in Fairfax County, check the Financial Crimes electronic reporting site.


To request this information in an alternate format, call the Public Affairs Bureau at 703.246.2253. TTY 703-877-3715

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