NEWARK, Del. — As the holiday season approaches, Delmarva Power recognizes Utility Scam Awareness Day, Nov. 18, by reminding customers to be on the lookout for imposters using energy-related scams to steal money and personal information.

Scams occur throughout the year, but the company generally sees an increase in scam reports during the holiday season. Scammers are using the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to trick customers into providing their personal or financial information and making false payments under the pretense of keeping their service active.

Scammers are also attempting to take advantage of the economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic to pressure families and businesses who may be struggling with past-due balances.

“The safety and well-being of our customers and the communities we serve is our top priority,” said Derrick Dickens, senior vice president of customer operations and chief customer officer for Pepco Holdings, which includes Delmarva Power.

“Every day, scammers get more sophisticated in their attempts to defraud and steal from our customers,” Dickens said. “Utility Scam Awareness Day shines a national spotlight on this illegal activity and highlights ways customers can protect themselves from fraudulent activity, especially during the current pandemic and upcoming holidays.”

Common schemes involve scammers’ use of technology to replicate a company’s phone number through caller ID — also known as “spoofing” — threatening to turn off a customer’s service unless they make a direct payment with a prepaid cash card.

Some scams involve imposters posing as Delmarva Power employees to gain entry into a customer’s home to steal belongings, with other activities involving scammers sending emails to businesses, requesting that they send Delmarva Power payments to bogus pay sites.

Here are some tips to help identify scams:

1. Delmarva Power will never come to a customer’s home or business to:

  • Demand a payment.
  • Ask for immediate payment with a prepaid cash card.
  • Ask for their Delmarva Power account number or other personal information, such as a driver’s license number.

2. Delmarva Power will never call a customer to:

  • Ask for their account number.
  • Ask for personal information, such as their Social Security number or bank information.
  • Ask them to make a direct payment with a prepaid cash card.

3. To identify an actual Delmarva Power employee, remember:

  • All Delmarva Power field employees wear a uniform with the Delmarva Power logo, including shirt and safety vest.
  • Delmarva Power employees visibly display a company ID badge with the Delmarva Power logo and employee’s name.

If a customer ever questions the legitimacy of the call, hang up and call Delmarva Power at 800-375-7117. Any customer who believes he or she has been a target of a scam is urged to contact their local police and call Delmarva Power immediately to report the situation.

Commercial customers are also advised to protect themselves from potential scam attempts. These offenders impersonate Delmarva Power and other trusted organizations through email or other forms of communications to deceive businesses into providing financial information or making an urgent payment.

To help protect their business from scams, employees at local businesses should:

  • Carefully review emails originating from outside your organization’s network.
  • Check the name of the sender and business and make sure it matches the name and business in the email address. Look for misspellings or slight alterations.

To learn more about preventing scams, customers can visit us online at delmarva.com for more tips and resources.

Follow me on Twitter @connie_stardem.

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