Third-Party Electricity Companies Using Spoofed Numbers to Target Delmarva Power (Delmarva Connect) Customers.
Customers can help identify and report unscrupulous companies.
Over the past several weeks, the Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC) and Division of the Public Advocate have received numerous complaints of third-party electricity suppliers “spoofing” phone numbers in an effort to sign up households for new service contracts.
Customers report that the phone calls appear to come from the Delmarva Power emergency line or customer service department. Without identifying themselves, the callers will attempt to persuade customers to change their electricity supplier, promising savings on their utility bills.
“Spoofing is the act by which an unscrupulous company uses a phone number other than its own to call and make solicitations to customers who may not otherwise answer the phone,” said Public Advocate Drew Slater. “Spoofing phone numbers from Delmarva Power, especially the emergency number, is a dangerous and dishonest practice that must stop immediately. However, we can only do that with your help.”
The PSC and Public Advocate can pursue formal action against the company or companies engaged in this activity, but only if the name of the company is known.
If you receive a call like this, do not provide any personal information, including your account number. Ask the caller for the name of the company they are representing, and report it immediately by calling the Public Advocate at 302-241-2555.
Do not agree to accept any offers or change your electricity service until you have had the opportunity to thoroughly review the terms in writing.
“These actions reflect poorly on legitimate third-party electric suppliers serving Delaware,” said Raj Barua, Executive Director of the PSC. “I strongly encourage all suppliers to comply with the Public Service Commission’s rules and regulations regarding solicitation of customers before more formal action is taken.”
Under Delaware law, households and businesses are entitled to choose their electricity supplier from an approved list of companies that are licensed by the PSC. These third-party suppliers offer a variety of pricing plans and structures; consumers are encouraged to compare and choose the best option for them.
Learn how to protect yourself from these types of scams by following the Public Service Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate on Facebook and Twitter.
In addition, a list of questions to ask Potential Third Party Suppliers can be found below.
QUESTIONS TO ASK POTENTIAL SUPPLIERS
Is the supplier certified by the Delaware Public Service Commission?
What is the total price per kilowatt-hour (kWh)?
Does the price stay the same or does it vary?
Is there a limit to how high or low the variable rate can go?
Is there an introductory rate, how long does it last and what will the price be at the end of the introductory period?
Will the supplier provide their rate at the beginning of the month or in advance of service being used?
Does the price depend on usage?
Are there built-in-price increases or decreases?
Can the supplier provide history pricing information? (for example: average price for the 12 months)
What is the length of the contract? Can your price change during that time period?
How will you be notified of any changes in price?
Are there any other fees such as a monthly service charge?
Is there a fee for early cancellation of the contract or switching to another supplier?
Will I receive notification before the contract expires?
What happens when the contract expires?
What billing options does the supplier offer?
Will you receive one bill or two?
Is there a bonus or any customer incentive for signing up?
Are there any additional services offered?
What fuels are used to produce the electricity?
Contact name and phone number
Customer service hours