Seattle police say some scammers who have been posing at Seattle City Light bill collectors, trying to scare businesses out of hundreds of dollars, are putting a new spin on the crime.
The scammers have been at work since May, telling businesses around the city that they will shut off the power unless the owners don’t pay non-existent bills. Restaurants are receiving the most calls.
The scammers are now demanding the business owners go to the store and buy a pre-paid debit card, which is difficult to track, and provide the card number over the phone.
Seattle police say nobody has fallen for the scam, yet, but the crooks have been making more calls lately. Detectives received five new cases Tuesday.
Seattle City Light says it does not call customers to request an immediate payment for a late bill. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from City Light, hang up and call the utility directly at (206) 684-3000.
If you think you’ve been targeted in this scam, call Seattle police at (206) 625-5011.