A phone scam impersonating Delmarva Power is making the rounds in Sussex County, concerning those who receive the calls who claim the scammers want to come to their houses to collect money.
Eileen Hargrove, of Selbyville, says she received a call from a person claiming to be from Delmarva Power, asking a variety of questions and eventually threatening to shut off her electricity if she didn’t pay a technician that was en route to her home.
“They told me that somebody was going to come to my physical address and want money from me to say that they weren’t going to shut off my power,” Hargrove explained.
Hargrove is not even a client of Delmarva Power, her home is powered through Delaware Electric Cooperative. When she brought this fact up to the scammer, they claimed the two companies had merged and that she should’ve received a notice in the mail.
“I was told by one of them that Delaware Co-op and Delmarva Power were now one company,” Hargrove said. “And that I should’ve got a letter in the mail in a yellow envelope explaining this a couple of months ago.”
Hargrove is far from the first person to receive such a scam, according to Delaware State Police, who are aware of the scam which has been around for quite some time.
“It has recently been reported that individuals are now responding to residences claiming to be with Delmarva Power or other electric companies requesting to view utility bills,” according to Delaware State Police. “Most subjects are arriving on foot; no vehicle in sight; however, claim that their Supervisor is ‘up the road.’ Please be on the lookout for the individuals responding to the residence asking to see billing information and refusing to provide identification.”
The scammers also use a tactic called “spoofing” to manipulate the Caller ID displayed phone number so that it appears as a Delmarva Power number, according to officials with Delmarva Power, who caution customers to be mindful of individuals who try to gain access to their homes by posing as utility workers. Utility impostors may carry “official” looking credentials and often work in pairs.
Never open your door to someone you do not recognize. Ask for a photo ID through a window. All Delmarva Power employees and contractors carry company ID badges displaying their name, photograph and identification number.
Delmarva Power representatives will never call you to ask you for cash or request that you purchase a prepaid credit card to make a payment on your bill. If you have concerns about the status of your account, call Delmarva Power’s Customer Service line at 1-800-375-7117 TTY-TDD Hearing Impaired: 1-800-822-1200.