Police: Duke Energy bill pay scam targets Spartanburg restaurant - FOX Carolina 21

Police: Duke Energy bill pay scam targets Spartanburg restaurant

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A Spartanburg restaurant fell prey to a bill pay scam targeting Duke Energy customers, trying to get them to pay overdue bills with prepaid cards, according to police.

Spartanburg police said the general manager of an East Main Street restaurant called police Saturday after a man named John called from a 1-800 number claiming to be with Duke Energy that he owed nearly $1,000 on a past-due bill and if it was not paid in 45 minutes, their power would be shut off.

According to the police report, the alleged Duke Energy employee called about 11 a.m. and the money was owed by 11:45 a.m.

The manager sent an employee to buy two prepaid cards for the amount owed and then called the 1-800 number back to pay over the phone with the cards, police said. The man on the phone asked for the restaurant's account number then gave them a confirmation number for the payment, police said.

The manager did some research and called Duke Energy back, realizing it was a scam, police said.

When they tried to call the number back, no one answered or returned any of their calls, the report stated.

Duke Energy and the Better Business Bureau have warned customers of this scam. The utility company says they never ask or require customers with unpaid or delinquent accounts to buy a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection. They also said customers will be notified throughout several weeks about disconnection, never an hour beforehand.

Anyone who may have received these calls is asked to report it to their local police department immediately and notify Duke Energy. Customers in the Carolinas can call 800-777-9898 and Duke Energy Progress customers in the Carolinas can call 800-452-2777.

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