Washington Gas encourages customers to be careful with their personal information, in order to avoid identity theft and to prevent scams and 'Slamming.'
Slamming” is when utility customers are signed up for competitive utility services without their knowledge or consent and occurs when someone switches the customer’s energy provider without the customer’s permission. Customers usually don’t discover that this has occurred until they receive their bill that lists a different energy supplier than they are familiar with.
Recently, it has come to our attention that some customers received text messages from a number claiming to be Washington Gas. Please note that Washington Gas does not communicate with customers via text message. Please disregard these texts and do not provide any personal information in response. The telephone number sending the texts is not a legitimate number.
We encourage customers to keep the following tips in mind to protect their identity:
- Read your utility bill carefully each month, and contact Washington Gas Customer Service if you have any concerns.
- Notify your energy supplier immediately if you fail to receive your regular monthly utility bill or receive a bill at your address in someone else’s name.
- Know the name of the natural gas company that provides your gas supply (Washington Gas or a third party).
- Never sign any document without reading it thoroughly.
- Disregard any texts you may receive about your Washington Gas service and bill, and do not provide any information in response. Washington Gas does not communicate with customers via text message.
- Designate one person in your household who is authorized to make changes to your utility service.
- Read the fine print for the terms of service.
- 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.
- Be aware of promotions offering discounts on your utility bills and be careful when signing any document. Although unintended, your signature on a document may be interpreted as an agreement to switch.
- Be aware of telemarketers or sales vendors who promise free gifts, lowered rates or better service for switching.
- If you are being visited by a door-to-door representative, ask for company identification. Washington Gas employees are required to provide this information.
- Do not share a copy of your energy bill unless you have verified the identity of the door-to-door representative.
- To prevent identity theft, do not share your Social Security number or driver’s license number.
- 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.
- Competitive third party gas suppliers are licensed to operate by the regulators in each of Washington Gas’ service territories and these issues are reported to each commission
Washington Gas reminds customers that if they notice a third party supplier on their bill with which they did not contract, to call our customer service department at 703-750-1000. We will assist customers on a case-by-case basis.
Washington Gas also encourages consumers to report issues directly to the regulatory commission in their jurisdiction.
WASHINGTON DC PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC)
- Office of Consumer Services
1325 G Street, NW, Suite 800,
Washington DC 20005
- Phone: (202) 626-5120
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
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