SCAM ALERT: Officials warn people of utility billing scam - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

SCAM ALERT: Officials warn people of utility billing scam

Officials in southeastern, North Carolina are warning residents and business owners about a scam alert targeting Duke/Progress Energy Utility customers. Officials in southeastern, North Carolina are warning residents and business owners about a scam alert targeting Duke/Progress Energy Utility customers.

SOUTHEASTERN, NC (WECT) – Officials in southeastern, North Carolina are warning residents and business owners about a scam alert targeting Duke/Progress Energy Utility customers.

The owner of Shirley's Diner in Leland says he got a phone call from someone who claimed to work for Duke/Progress Energy, asking for bill money, but as it turned out, it was all a scam.

According to law enforcement, people and businesses have reported receiving phone calls that claim their electricity bill will be turned off within hours unless they make an immediate payment by a prepaid debit card, called a "green dot card."

Shirley's Diner owner, Barry Jethwa says he nearly fell for it. He even went to Walmart to purchase the prepaid debit cards. It was there when he realized that it was all a scam.

According to a spokesperson for the company, Duke/Progress Energy never contacts customers to demand a prepaid debit card payment.

So far, several business owners in the greater Wilmington area have been the target of this scam.

Now, Jethwa is making it his mission to prevent other businesses from falling victim.

"I'm doing this to help other restaurants. We all have to stick together," said Jethwa. "If something happens in your restaurant, please let me know and if something happens in my restaurant, I'll let you know or even if something like this happens to anybody."

Jethwa says he knows of at least two other businesses in the Castle Hayne area that actually did fall victim to this scam. Businesses aren't the only targets. Law enforcement is also warning folks to be aware of scam artists looking to take advantage of the elderly.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

    Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

    Thursday, April 26 2018 2:39 AM EDT2018-04-26 06:39:08 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:31 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:31:27 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    More >>

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    More >>
  • Texas gang member executed for killing girl, grandmother

    Texas gang member executed for killing girl, grandmother

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:55 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:55:40 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-26 05:23:56 GMT
    (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP). This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Erick Davila. Attorneys for the Texas death row inmate want the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his scheduled execution this week fo...(Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP). This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Erick Davila. Attorneys for the Texas death row inmate want the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his scheduled execution this week fo...
    Attorneys for a condemned Texas prisoner are asking the US Supreme Court to halt his execution for killing a young girl and her grandmother in 2008.More >>
    Attorneys for a condemned Texas prisoner are asking the US Supreme Court to halt his execution for killing a young girl and her grandmother in 2008.More >>
  • Geologists say N. Korea's nuclear test site likely collapsed

    Geologists say N. Korea's nuclear test site likely collapsed

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 9:28 PM EDT2018-04-26 01:28:35 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:32 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:32:04 GMT
    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed.

    More >>

    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly