DOVER, Del., Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) (Chesapeake), and its business units Chesapeake Utilities, Sandpiper Energy, Florida Public Utilities Company and Sharp Energy, are joining other utility companies across the United States and Canada to increase public awareness about long-running scam activities that target customers of utility service providers.
The Utilities United Against Scams collaboration, supported by the American Gas Association and other utility companies, has designated November 16 as "Utilities United Against Scams Day." This day will be supported by a week-long informational campaign focused on exposing the tricks that scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves.
"The safety of our customers and their private data is a top priority for Chesapeake," said Michael P. McMasters, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have a team of dedicated and knowledgeable employees who are committed to keeping customer data private and helping customers protect themselves against situations involving scams or fraudulent activity. I encourage any customer with a concern about suspicious activity to call our Customer Care team."
"Chesapeake's Customer Care team is dedicated to the safety and well-being of our customers," said Nicole T. Carter, Assistant Vice President of Customer Care for Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. "We believe the Utilities United Against Scams campaign is critical in helping to build public awareness about potential scams targeting utility customers. Through our team of customer care representatives and up-to-date information made available on our websites, we're committed to working together with customers to continuously ensure their privacy and safety."
Indications for popular scam activity include:
- The scammer pretending to be a company representative acts angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn't made – usually within less than an hour.
- The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then calls him or her back to supposedly make a payment to Chesapeake Utilities, Sandpiper Energy, Florida Public Utilities Company or Sharp Energy.
- The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card's receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card's funds.
How to protect yourself:
- Chesapeake Utilities, Sandpiper Energy, Florida Public Utilities Company 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, and mail or in person.
- 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 Chesapeake Utilities, Sandpiper Energy, Florida Public Utilities Company or Sharp Energy at the phone number listed on their bill. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.
About Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a diversified energy company engaged in natural gas distribution, transmission, gathering and processing, and marketing; electricity generation and distribution; propane gas distribution and wholesale marketing; and other businesses. Information about Chesapeake Utilities Corporation's businesses is available at www.chpk.com.
Please note that Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is not affiliated with Chesapeake Energy, an oil and natural gas exploration company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
For more information, contact:
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
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SOURCE Chesapeake Utilities Corporation