Delmarva Power is encouraging customers to be aware of a scam that has been targeting utility customers across the U.S. for more than five years after customers in Delaware and Maryland contacted the company to report they had been targeted with the popular “green dot” scam.

The scammers, who target residential and business customers, call individuals claiming that they are behind on their account and must make an immediate payment to avoid service termination. As part of the scam, customers are asked to purchase a prepaid debit card, such as a Green Dot MoneyPak, for a specific amount from local pharmacies, retail chains or convenience stores. The customer is then directed to contact a number to use the card to make a payment to their account. Once the information is provided to the scammer, the funds on the card are removed.

During the past five years, scammers have become increasingly sophisticated, going to extreme measures to present themselves as official utility representatives. Scammers have gone so far as to replicate utility phone numbers through caller ID, with some even replicating the messaging and prompts provided to customers through their interactive voice response system.

To help customers ward off these scammers, Delmarva Power offered tips:

— If a customer receives a call from someone stating they are calling to collect a bill payment for Delmarva Power, the caller should be able to provide specific information including account name, account address, account number and amount of current balance.

— If the caller cannot provide this information, it is likely the call is not coming from Delmarva Power. In this case, customers should not provide any information and call Delmarva Power immediately at 800-375-7117 to report the situation.

— Customers should never provide their Social Security number or banking or credit card information by phone unless they have initiated the call.

— Customers should never provide anyone access to their home who claims to be from Delmarva Power, or a contractor working for Delmarva Power, unless the person has proper identification. Customers can always contact the company at 800-375-7117 to confirm an official visit.

For more, visit delmarva.com.