**UPDATED NEWS RELEASE**PLEASE READ AND SHARE** November 8th, 2018 Columbia Gas Employee Impersonators Between Monday November 5th and Tuesday November 6th, 2018, The Warrenton Police Department received several reports of possible Columbia Gas impersonators that were in the Town, as well as several other surrounding jurisdictions. Many citizens rightfully believed that (based on the demeanor and comments made by the individuals they were in contact with) they were victims of an attempted fraud by impersonation crime. After an extensive investigation involving citizens in our town, Dee Tishman (management representative with Columbia Gas), Martine Trinka (management representative with Viridian Energy) and representatives from U.S. Gas and Electric, it was determined that the parties going door to door are in fact legitimate representatives of Viridian Energy. Viridian Energy is participating in the “CHOICE” program, a program designed to give consumers their choice of gas suppliers while simultaneously utilizing Columbia Gas equipment. Columbia Gas describes their “CHOICE” program as follows: “The following suppliers are licensed by the state of Virginia and have qualified for participation in our Customer CHOICE® program. Their listing does not mean they are currently enrolling new customers. We provide their toll-free phone numbers and Web addresses, so you may contact them for information on their gas supply program. Suppliers Serving Residential, Commercial & Industrial Customers Ambit Energy, LCC 1801 N. Lamar St., Suite 600 Dallas, TX 75202 1-877-282-6248 www.ambitenergy.com Colonial Energy, Inc. 3975 Fair Ridge Drive Fairfax, Va 22033 1-866-4NATGAS www.colonialenergy.com Direct Energy Business Marketing LLC 1001 Liberty Avenue Floor 12 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 1-888-566-9988 www.directenergy.com Dominion Energy Solutions 120 Tredegar St. Richmond, Va 23219 1-888-863-9950 www.dominionenergysolutions.com IGS Energy 6100 Emerald Pkwy Dublin, OH 43016 1-800-280-4474 www.igsenergy.com NOVEC Energy Solutions, Inc. 10323 Lomond Dr. Manassas, VA 20109 703-392-1677 1-888-627-7283 www.novecenergysolutions.com Shipley Energy, LLC dba Shipley Energy 415 Norway St York, PA 17403 800-839-1849 www.shipleyenergy.com STAND Energy Corp Rockwood Bldg., Suite. 110 1077 Celestial St. Cincinnati, OH 45202 1-800-598-2046 www.standenergy.com Viridian Energy 1055 Washington Bv 7th Flr. Stamford, CT 06901 1-866-663-2508 www.viridian.com WGL Energy Services, Inc. 13865 Sunrise Valley Dr., Suite 200 Herndon, VA 20171 1-888-236-9437 www.wglenergy.com XOOM Energy Virginia, LLC 11208 Statesville Road, Suite. 200 Huntersville, NC 28078 1-888-997-8979 www.xoomenergy.com Bollinger Energy Corporation 1801 S. Clinton St. Baltimore, MD 21224 1-800-260-0505 www.bollingerenergy.com Constellation NewEnergy-Gas Division, LLC 1221 Lamar St., Suite 750 Houston, TX 77010 1-800-785-4373 www.constellation.com UGI Energy Services 1010 Hull St., Suite. 204 Baltimore, MD 21230 1-800-427-8545 www.ugienergyservices.com” The primary company in question that has sales representatives in the area is Viridian Energy. Ms. Trinka, a national representative with Viridian Energy based out of Norwalk, Connecticut, advised that Viridian Energy currently has 15-20, young, early 20’s employees that are soliciting new, potential business by going door to door in the following areas: Manassas Petersburg Chesapeake Fairfax Manassas Park Dumfries Triangle Chesterfield Richmond Lynchburg Buena Vista Warrenton Lexington Culpeper The descriptions provided to law enforcement positively matched the employees soliciting on behalf of Viridian Energy in our area. Although Viridian Energy is a gas supplier that does utilize existing Columbia gas tanks, monitoring systems, gas lines and metering systems; Viridian Energy and their employees do not work directly for Columbia Gas and Columbia Gas has not recently had any sales representatives in any capacity solicit directly for the company. Investigators with the Warrenton Police Department were advised that Viridian Energy often has the ability to offer lower gas rates, while continuing to utilize the gas tanks, gas lines, meters and monitoring systems that Columbia Gas has in place at a residence they currently hold as an active customer. Because of the utilization of the existing Columbia gas hardware, customers often confuse Viridian Energy representatives as Columbia Gas representatives. Ms. Trinka advised that there are strict procedures in place with Viridian Energy that were not complied with during the time in question. Ms. Trinka advised that before any solicitation is to take place, the sales representatives must obtain a solicitation permit for the area they are operating in, if that area requires it. A permit for the Town of Warrenton was not obtained by Viridian Energy per Warrenton Municipal Town Code 13-3 to 13-6. Ms. Trinka advised that individuals employed as sales representatives with Viridian Energy are to wear specific, company approved clothing and uniforms. The individuals were dressed in casual clothing, not in compliance with Viridian Energy policies. Ms. Trinka advised that Viridian Energy employees are to leave the premises of the home they are soliciting upon direction to do so by the homeowner or resident. Individuals soliciting did not immediately leave homes and often yelled obscenities when offers were not accepted and sales not made. Ms. Trinka advised that she will be conducting an investigation into the sales team that was dispatched to the Virginia areas listed above and will likely terminate the employees involved in the solicitations in question. The Warrenton Police Department would like to thank Ms. Trinka, Columbia Gas and most importantly, our citizens, for assisting in resolving this matter.