Scams – Energy Products or Services Offering
WGL Energy reminds customers to beware of scammers posing as energy supplier representatives, and solicitors who can use scam tactics when approaching you using door-to-door, telesales, email and text sales methods.
Competitive third-party gas suppliers like WGL Energy are licensed to operate by local regulators in each of the states/District where they operate. If you are unsure if a representative or offering is credible and legitimate, please be cautious and protect yourself!
Especially with the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, fluid economic conditions and gas price increases at the pump, incidences of scam behavior are more likely to occur as people are feeling vulnerable about their financial circumstances.
Contact your local regulatory commissions or legislatures
If you think you’re the target of a scam, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance and resources from the local government and regulatory commissions in the jurisdictions where your energy service is provided. They can investigate reports of scamming and offer proactive resources to help prevent being scammed. For your convenience, at the bottom of this page you will find contact information for all regulatory commissions in service territories where WGL Energy offers energy products.
Another option: If you are a WGL Energy customer or are being solicited by a WGL Energy representative and want to verify if an offer is authorized, you may also contact our customer service at 844-427-5945.
Generally, following these 12 simple tips will help customers avoid being scammed:
- Research: It is important to research the energy company trying to sell to you – find out where they are located, how long they have been in business, and who else do they supply.
- One contact at home: Designate one person in your household who is authorized to make changes to your utility service to prevent miscommunication between residents.
- Gift offers: Be aware of telemarketers or sales vendors who promise free gifts.
- Service: Be aware of communications that state an interruption in service for not switching or better service for switching. There will be no difference in the delivery of electricity or natural gas to your home if you switch.
- Notice to verify change: Notify your energy supplier immediately if you receive a phone call or notice to “verify” a change in your energy service that you didn’t authorize.
- Receive contract upfront: The company should provide you the contract with terms and conditions up front for any energy they are selling.
- Teaser prices: Beware of “teaser prices” – for example, offering a low price at the beginning to bring you in, then imposing an increase six months into the contract.
- Bill delayed or different: Notify your energy supplier immediately if you fail to receive your regular monthly utility bill or you receive a bill that looks different from prior bills.
- Read contracts/paperwork: Never sign any document without reading it thoroughly. Contracts can be complicated – please seek assistance from a trusted source who can help clearly understand the agreement.
- Communications to customers: Depending on how your local utility provider communicates with its customers, remember that some utilities do not use text messages, for example, about your bill. Should you get a text message from your utility, please be careful if/how you respond.
- Demands for payment over the phone: Practice an abundance of caution if an energy provider demands payment over the phone using your bank account or credit card number, or asks you to buy a prepaid debit card to pay your bill. Sharing Social Security and Driver’s License information is also discouraged unless you can verify the supplier is licensed and credible.
- Ask for I.D.: If you are being visited by a door-to-door representative, ask for company identification. Credible companies selling energy services and products require their representatives to provide this information.
- Sharing copy of bill: Do not share a copy of your energy bill unless you have verified the identity of the door-to-door representative.
Slams – Switched Providers without Your Consent
Slam is another type of scam. It is the unauthorized switching of your natural gas or electricity supplier. Customers usually don’t discover they have been slammed until they receive their bill, and it lists a different or new energy supplier name (i.e., not the one they’ve signed up for). A slam occurs when:
- Customers are signed up for competitive energy supply services without their knowledge or consent.
- Check your utility bill regularly to ensure you have not been slammed.
Keep in mind:
- Know when the contract with your energy supplier is set to expire. Watch for things like early termination fees, which may indicate that you’ve been slammed if you haven’t initiated a switch to another energy supplier.
Note: At WGL Energy, with more than 25-years as a mid-Atlantic retail energy provider, we place a priority on customer service excellence and operating with integrity. We are committed to continuously monitoring our sales efforts and take immediate action when required.
Contact Information for Resources to Assist You:
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC)
- Office of Consumer Services
325 G Street, NW, Suite 800,
Washington DC 20005
- Phone: (202) 626-5120
- DC PSC – www.dcpsc.org
MARYLAND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC)
- 6 St. Paul St., 16th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
- Phone: (410) 767-8000
- MD Toll Free:1-800-492-0474
- TTY Users call via Maryland Relay: 1-800-201-7165
- MD PSC – www.psc.state.md.us
VIRGINIA STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION (SCC)
- Division of Public Utility Regulation
Tyler Building, 4th floor
1300 E. Main St.
Richmond, Virginia 23219
- Toll-free phone: (within Virginia) 1-800-552-7945
- E-mail: UtilityReg@scc.virginia.gov
- VA SCC -- https://www.scc.virginia.gov/
Delaware Public Service Commission
- State Of Delaware Department Of State Cannon Building
- 861 Silver Lake Blvd, Dover, DE 19904
- DE PSC – www.depsc.delaware.gov
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
- Keystone Building
- 400 North St, Harrisburg, PA 17120
- Customer Hotline: 1-800-692-7380
- PA PUC – www.puc.pa.gov
Other Online Resources provided by regulatory commissions to help consumers to shop reliably for an authorized energy supplier: