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Mon, Oct 05, 2020 9:25 pm

Your electricity will be cut off in 30 minutes

At 11:55 AM EDT this morning, my wife received a recorded call stating our electricity would be cut off by Delmarva Power, our electric utility, in thirty minutes. She called for me to pick up the phone, but by the time I got to a phone in another room, the call was disconnected. She said the message had instructed her to hit "1" to speak to someone. The call sounded like a scam to me, since I didn't know of any issue with our electicity payments and also because I would have expected a letter well before a cutoff date and more than 30 minutes to pay any past due payment if someone called. It seemed to me an obvious attempt to panic a called party into providing a credit card to a scammer engaged in fraud, but I checked our bank account anyway and saw the last payment due had been deducted from our checking account about two weeks before the call and when I logged into Delmarva's website to check the status of our account, I saw the last payment credited and a balance of zero dollars.

Using *69, I was able to determine the listed calling number was 1-443-739-1747, but a search online for accounts of others receiving a call from a scammer using that number did not reveal other such activity. I called the number back to see how the scammer operated or to see if it might be a spoofed number, but just got a recorded message that the called party was not available, so I should leave a message. It sounded like a generic voicemail message. So, perhaps, the scammer spoofed the calling number as they often do to make it difficult to track down their identity.

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