Authorities Warn About Utility Scam

BERLIN – The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office this week issued a warning about a possible suspect posing as an employee of a utility company knocking on doors and attempting to collect money in the Berlin area.

Around 4 p.m. last Thursday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to Choptank Electric in reference to a suspicious person complaint from customers of the utility company. Numerous Choptank customers had called the utility company to report an unidentified black male driving a white Ford pick-up truck had been knocking on doors in the area of Basket Switch Rd.

According to the complaints, the suspect told residents he worked for the power company and was attempting to collect money from customers who were past due on their accounts. When a customer told the suspect she was calling Choptank to verify, he immediately left the area. Meanwhile, local Choptank officials called corporate headquarters to look into the situation and were informed by headquarters no employees should have working in that area.

The county Sheriff’s Office warned local residents to be on the lookout for the suspect, the vehicle or any other suspicious activities. In addition, the sheriff’s office warned residents to always verify anyone who is at their homes trying to collect money, whether it’s a private company, a charity or any other entity.

Just a few days after the incident involving a bogus Choptank Electric employee attempting to collect money, Delmarva Power issued its own warning about potential scams. According to the release, Delmarva Power is reminding home and business owners to practice safety when someone claiming to represent a business contacts them in person or by phone.

According to Delmarva Power, if a suspicious person claims to represent a company, whether the company is Delmarva Power or another entity, it is important to take precautions to verify the person is affiliated with the company they claim to represent. Delmarva Power is advising customers to ask for official photo identification from any person who shows up at their door presenting themselves as representatives of the electric utility or any other entity.

Employees from reputable companies will carry official company identification cards, according to the release. If proper identification cannot be produced, customers are advised to contact both the police and the company with whom the individual claims to be associated. Similarly, if someone calls claiming to represent a company, customers are urged to ask them to verify their identity and affiliation.

According to Delmarva Power, if customers have any doubt about the validity of a person’s claim, they should contact the utility immediately at 1-800-375-7117.