Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:
- Never provide Social Security numbers or personal information to anyone who initiates contact with you and claims to be a utility representative or requests that you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility providers.
- Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
- When in doubt, check it out. Be skeptical of individuals wearing clothing with old or defaced company logos. If you have any doubts, ask to see a company photo ID.
Red flags for scam activity
- The scammer pretending to be a company employee often becomes angry and tells a customer that his or her account is past due and service will be shut off if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
- The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card and then calls him or her to supposedly make a payment to Chesapeake Utilities, Sandpiper Energy, Florida Public Utilities Company, Elkton Gas or Sharp Energy.
- The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the funds loaded to the card.
How to protect yourself
- Chesapeake Utilities, Sandpiper Energy, Florida Public Utilities Company, Elkton Gas or Sharp Energy will never ask or require a customer with a delinquent account to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection of service.
- Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, U.S.P.S. mail or at any one of our authorized payment locations.
- Customers with delinquent accounts will receive past due reminder notifications. Customers would never receive a single over the phone notification one hour before disconnection of service.
- If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police and then contact Chesapeake Utilities, Sandpiper Energy, Florida Public Utilities Company, Elkton Gas or Sharp Energy at the phone number listed on your bill. Never call the phone number that the scammers provide.