Middletown police are warning the public about a potential scam involving a person claiming to represent Delmarva Power, after someone tried to rip off a local business owner.

Middletown police are warning the public about a potential scam involving someone claiming to represent Delmarva Power.

Middletown Police Chief Henry Tobin III said the warning comes after a scammer tried to rip off a Middletown business owner on Wednesday

The business owner, who police are not identifying, reported receiving a phone call from a person who identified themselves as a collections worker for Delmarva Power.

The caller reportedly told the business owner that his bill was overdue and requested an immediate credit card payment to prevent the business’ power from being shut off.

When the business owner questioned the payment, the caller said the collections department would accept a lesser amount and resolve the remaining debt during normal business owners.

Instead, the business owner alerted authorities, who determined the call was a scam.

“If you live in the town limits of Middletown, the electric is provided by the town and the billing goes through Town Hall,” Tobin said. “Delmarva Power would not be contacting a Middletown resident regarding payments or discontinuing service.  If someone calls and asks for credit card information the resident should be immediately suspicious.”

A spokesman for Delmarva Power said the electric company does not do collection calls at all.

“If there is an overdue amount due, you’ll see that on your bill,” said spokesman Nicholas Morici. “We don’t do cold calls.”

In August, Delmarva Power put out a warning regarding a scam in which business owners were receiving similar phone calls during which a person purporting to represent the electric company demanded payment through a “Green Dot MoneyPak,” purchased from a convenience store.

The victims were then instructed to call a telephone number where they were told to provide the card’s account number and personal identification number. The scammers used that information to withdraw all the available funds in what Delmarva Power says are untraceable transactions.

Anyone with doubts about the validity of a person’s claim to represent Delmarva Power is directed to immediately call (800) 375-7117.

Anyone in Middletown who has received a collection call from someone claiming to represent Delmarva Power is asked to contact the Middletown Police Department by calling (302) 376-9950.