Consumer Alert: Number Spoofing Targets Delmarva Customers
DOVER – Over the past week, the Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC) and Delaware 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.
The Delaware Public Service Commission regulates investor-owned public utilities and works to ensure safe, reliable and reasonably priced service.
The Delaware Division of the Public Advocate advocates for the lowest reasonable utility rates, principally on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers, consistent with the maintenance of adequate utility service and an equitable distribution of rates among all classes of consumers.