Delmarva Power warns customers of utility scams during COVID-19 pandemic
With Delaware, Maryland and the world experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delmarva Power is reminding customers to always be on alert for potential scams targeting energy customers.
Scams occur throughout the year, but the company has seen an increase in scam attempts with scammers using this health crisis to take advantage of energy customers throughout the U.S. The company has received reports that scammers are threatening to shut service off and are offering cash or credit incentives in order to obtain a customer’s personal or financial information.
"It is unfortunate that scammers are using the public’s concerns around health and financial uncertainty to deceive and further harm our customers,” said Derrick Dickens, senior vice president and chief customer officer for Pepco Holdings, which includes Delmarva Power. “We want to provide our customers with tools and information that can help ward off would-be scammers and help put a stop to these ongoing scamming attempts.”
In some cases, scammers are duplicating the recorded message that customers hear when calling a legitimate company, so when customers call the number provided by the scammer, it sounds like an actual business. Some scammers also use caller ID "spoofing" to replicate an energy company’s phone number.
Throughout the year, Delmarva Power takes steps to raise awareness among its customers, including posting tips to social media, adding alerts on the delmarva.com homepage, sharing articles with tips and resources on The Source, issuing news releases, and participating annually in Utilities United Against Scams Day in March and November. Any customer who believes he or she has been the target of a scam is urged to contact their local police and call Delmarva Power immediately at 800-375-7117 to report the situation.
Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions: never provide social security number or personal information to anyone initiating contact claiming to be a company representative or requesting money be sent to another person or entity other than Delmarva Power; always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any Delmarva Power worker into a home or business; and never make a payment for services to anyone coming to the door.
Delmarva Power representatives will never ask or require a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection. Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdrawal or by mail. Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple shut off notifications — never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
If a customer ever questions the legitimacy of the call, hang up and call Delmarva Power at 800-375-7117.
For more, visit delmarva.com.