Delmarva Power and sister utility Atlantic City Electric have released troubling data on utility scams, with criminals making off with more than $200,000.
The utiliities reminded business and residential customers to be especially wary of phone-driven attempts that aim to gain funds.
Over the years, businesses, especially ethnic restaurants, have been the target of scams that include callers threatening disconnection, with the victim urged to use gift cards to pay the alleged charge. Such cards can be hard or impossible to trace.
Other scam variations include attempts to gain checking or credit card information and home or business visits by an individual claiming to be from the utility.
In 2023, Delmarva Power, and its sister utilities Atlantic City Electric and Pepco, recorded the following related to phone scams
- More than 2,200 reports of scam attempts, a 5% increase over 2022.
- The success rate of the scammers increased from 10 to 11%.
- 36% increase in attempts in the fourther quarter compared to the same period in 2022..
- -In quarter four, customers lost more than $74,000 – a 64% increase from the same period in 2022.
- – In all, customers lost more than $205,000 to phone scams – nearly 30% above 2022.
- If a customer questions the legitimacy of a call or visit to their home regarding disconnection of service, they are asked to contact Delmarva Power at 800-375-7117.
- Any customer who believes they have been a victim of a scam is asked to contact local police and call Delmarva Power immediately to report the situation.
- Further information is available at delmarva.com .