Offer Claims Government Will Pay Bill, Asks For Customers' Social Security Number
CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 29, 2012 - Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) is warning customers not to be fooled by a nationwide bill-payment scam that promises the federal government – in fact, President Obama himself – will pay their utility bill. The scam is asking people to share sensitive personal information that could lead to identity theft.
The phony payment offer, which is being promoted through social media, text messages and in person, provides customers with a purported "Federal Reserve bank routing number" to use when paying their bills online. Customers are led to believe that their bill will be paid if they use this routing number and insert their Social Security number as the bank account number however, no payments are ever applied to the customers' accounts.
"Piedmont has learned that some of our customers have already fallen victim to this scam. We're doing all we can to help those people affected, in addition to letting all our customers know that this scam is out there," said Ranelle Warfield, vice president of customer service for Piedmont Natural Gas. "This is attempted identity theft, pure and simple, and we urge all Piedmont customers to exercise extreme caution in sharing their Social Security number or other personal information."
Customers who believe they are a victim of this scam are encouraged to notify local police, the state attorney general's office, and the Better Business Bureau. Any customer who thinks their Piedmont Natural Gas account has been affected should call 1-800-752-7504 to speak with a customer service representative.
About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial and industrial utility customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including 53,000 customers served by municipalities who are wholesale customers. Our subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, interstate natural gas storage and intrastate natural gas transportation. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available at http://www.piedmontng.com.
SOURCE: Piedmont Natural Gas