COLUMBUS - The state's top cop is warning restaurants to be on the lookout for utility scams.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Friday warned that Ohio restaurants have been targeted by scams in which callers threaten to shut off the restaurant's power unless it provides immediate payment. At least four restaurants filed such reports since July, and two lost approximately $500 to $800 to the scam, according to a release from DeWine's office.
Utility scams have been reported by businesses in Cleveland, Columbus and Fairfield County.
"Scams are often underreported, so it's likely that other businesses have been affected," DeWine states in the release.
In a typical scam, a caller contacts the business claiming to represent a local utility company and says the business is late on its payments, the release states. The caller then threatens to turn off the business' power unless it makes an immediate payment via a prepaid money card.
Anyone suspecting a scam should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.
Be skeptical of callers who threaten to shut off your power unless you make an immediate payment.
If you receive a suspicious or threatening call, hang up and call your utility company using a number you know to be legitimate.
Demand information in writing before sending any payment.
Don't trust someone who says you must pay using a prepaid money card or wire transfer. These are preferred payment methods for scammers.
Warn employees about potential scams.
Source: Attorney General's Office