Scammers Targeting Metro Businesses Claiming To Be With OG&E

Friday, April 11th 2014, 10:57 pm
By: News 9

OG&E has sent out a warning about a scam that police said is realistic enough to work.

Someone is targeting small businesses, including several in Moore, claiming to be the energy company and hoping to bank off of false threats.

Scammers have called three times to the Pho B&B Vietnamese restaurant where Kym Trung works. The first two calls were from local numbers and the third was a 1-800 number.

"They're pretty persistent on telling you that you owe money," explained Trung.

The caller claimed to be with OG&E and said he was following up to a cancellation notice for an overdue bill. He said if the business does not pay up by 3 pm that day, the business loses electricity.

"I was like, ‘Well, that's funny because we don't have OG&E here. Here we use a different company,' and he was like, ‘Well, we have you on our services,' and I was like, ‘No, you don't,' and he hung up," said Trung.

Pickles Restaurant reported the same call as did Spring Hill Suites, where an employee called the number back and someone answered by saying "OG&E Cut-Off Service." When she called OG&E directly, Trung said the company told her it was a scam.

Moore Police said they have taken at least 10 reports over the last 10 days on this scam.

"Their goal is to try this as many times as they can and if they get one. Then it's worth it," said Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis.

The problem is how realistic and professional the caller sounds, according to the Western Sizzlin assistant manager Verna Berry.

"He was very articulate. I believed he worked for them; that his job would be talking on phones and talking to customers," said Berry.

Berry said if she was the owner and had the power to make the decision at that moment, she would have paid up.

"He gives me an hour before he was going to shut me off, you know. That's just before dinner rush on Saturday. I was going to be, I'd be thinking, ‘Oh I've got to pay this,'" explained Berry.

OG&E sent out a message telling customers to call OG&E verify their account if someone gets one of these calls.