HIGH POINT, N.C. — The bad guys are targeting small businesses and cashing in on their power bills.
The City of High Point’s customer service has been getting several complaints about these fake callers. Allegedly, the caller claims to be a city official and tells businesses that they owe on their power bill. Ralph Amoroso is out $745.27 because of it.
“They basically said ‘We are coming out to disconnect your power this afternoon at 3 o’clock.’ This is on a Friday at 3 o’clock and that’s our busiest time is Fridays, Saturdays and the weekends,” explains Ralph Amoroso, owner of Amoroso’s Bakery.
Amoroso was sure he was current on his bill so he told that to the caller. The caller explained to him that the payment was posted to a different account, but he still had to pay to ensure his power wouldn’t be disconnected. If Amoroso didn’t have power for a weekend he would be out thousands of dollars.
“I was a little skeptical. The thing that sold it to me was he had all my account information and he knew to the penny how much my payment was,” explains Amoroso.
The caller told Amoroso the bill had to be paid immediately with a money card, but he would be reimbursed in a few days. Amoroso went through with it. A week passed and he never got a refund so he called the City of High Point and realized it was all fake.
Customer service officials are still trying to figure out how these callers are getting account and balance information.
“We can’t find any commonality or timing that would indicate anything that’s suspicious. I don’t have a clue how they are accessing the information,” explains Bob Martin, with High Point Customer Service.
FOX8 tried to call the number that called Amoroso. We weren’t able to reach anyone and our messages weren’t returned.
The High Point Police Department is investigating these cases.
The City of High Point warns business owners and residents they will never ask you to pay for a bill through a money card. If you have any reservations, call them first before making any kind of payment.