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Rip-Off Alert: Scammers posing as power company nearly deceive small business owner

A single mother and small business owner nearly fell for an electricity scam perpetrated by con men. (SBG)

A single mother and small business owner nearly fell for an electricity scam perpetrated by con men.

Christine Paige received a call recently that sent her into a panic. Someone listed as National Grid on the caller ID dialed her Rhode Island hair salon and said she owed $600.

The caller said she had 30 minutes to pay or her electricity would be turned off.

“It was a day that we were actually operating, and I had stylists in the salon and I had appointments booked,” she said to our Sinclair sister station. “So I definitely didn’t want my service to be interrupted.”

She had been late on electric bills in the past, which made this call even more convincing. But she knew she had paid her most recent bill.

“And I said, ‘Can I just send you a copy of my receipt so that you know that I really did just pay my bill?’ He said, ‘Well, that really doesn’t matter because they’re on their way. And the only way to stop them is if you go to Western Union and send me $600,’” she said.

That's when Paige became more suspicious and knew something was not right.

“When he told me to go to Western Union and when he told me to make sure I call him before I walk into Western Union because he would give me specific instructions on what to do to send the money,” she said.

A legitimate power company would never make that request.

If you get a suspicious call, hang up and verify the call with the customer number listed on your bill or account.

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