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Duke Energy scam still going around

A scam involving people pretending to be with Duke Energy is still causing problems, according to Salisbury Police.

The owner of Bangkok Downtown was a victim of the scam Thursday when someone called the restaurant on East Innes Street pretending to be with Duke Energy and said he had a past due bill of $800.

The owner, Kongkeo Phomsaly, told police the caller, who gave his name as “Eric,” said a new meter had been installed on his building and that it had caused a discrepancy. The caller told Phomsaly if he didn’t pay his power would be shut off. He was told to use gift cards as a form of payment, and given a number to call back.

Phomsaly then called Duke Energy and was told a new meter had, in fact, been installed, but he didn’t tell the person with Duke about the $800 he was told he owed.

He went to Food Lion and got $800 dollars worth of gift cards, called the number given to him by the scammer and gave the person the card numbers.

Shortly afterward, Phomsaly called Duke to check if the payment had been received and that his power wouldn’t be shut off. He was told he didn’t owe any money and that’s when he realized he had been scammed. He then reported the scam to police.

Last September, several other businesses in the area reported receiving similar calls.

Police called the number given by the scammer and a voicemail message said “Thank you for calling electric and gas disconnection.”

 

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