by: Mike Petchenik Updated:ROSWELL, Ga. —
Georgia Power is warning home and business owners to beware of scammers posing as the utility company to steal money.
Megan Niehaus told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik the scammer called the restaurant she manages, Roswell Tap, on Highway 9 Monday afternoon.
“They kept calling back like every 30 minutes, asking: ‘When are you gonna have that money for us?’” she said. “’When do you think you’ll have that money for us? We’re sending someone over if you don’t have that money for us.’”
Niehaus said the caller demanded about $1,000 from the restaurant, but she said she knew it was a scam when they told her to put the money on a Green Dot prepaid card and to call back with the number.
“I’d say pretty much anything that they’re asking you to put cash money onto is probably a scam and you should stay away from that,” she said.
That’s the advice Roswell Police have as well. Officer Zachary Frommer said his department has received several complaints in the last week or so from homeowners, and at least one other restaurant.
“No legitimate utility or authority is going to ask you to pay a bill in Green dot cards,” he said. “Very few would even call you in the first place like that.”
Frommer said some elderly residents have fallen for the scam and paid the money.
“They’re hard to track,” he said. “It’s not like cash where you physically have to steal it from them. All they need is a number off the card and they can steal all the money that’s on that card.”
Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatwright told Petchenik the utility company is seeing the scam pop up statewide, and in other states its parent company serves, including Mississippi and Alabama. She said the utility doesn’t ask for money in the field, and would never ask for payment via prepaid card.