Update from Ralph Bristol Morning News - BBB Middle Tennessee can be heard Fridays at 7:35am on the Ralph Bristol Nashville Morning News, WTN 99.7 (FM Radio)
Don't Be Fooled By the "Electric Scam"
This scam is hitting Murfreesboro area restaurants over the past month and will most certainly spread to consumers
three restaurants this week have reported receiving a call saying they owed Middle Tennessee Electric an excess of $1900 that must be paid before the end of the business day or the business's electricity service would be disconnected.
Scammers also use a ploy that the electric meter is not working properly and must be replaced or electrical power will be shut off. BBB reminds consumers that electrical meters are the property of the utility provider and would be the responsibility of the utility to replace or repair.
The Murfreesboro restaurant owner was told to purchase a pre-paid Green Dot Money Pak for the total amount due ($1,920.) He then followed instructions to call the scammer back and provided the Green Dot card number.
The name appearing on the caller ID was spoofed to display Middle TN Electric. A little investigative work determined the scammer immediately transferred the $1,920 to an American Express Gift Card.
A 4th call by the scammer went to Bone Fish Grill in Murfreesboro but was not successful...
BBB has seen a rise in complaints involving schemes that use the Green Dot “MoneyPak” cards sold at local convenience stores, pharmacies and major retailers. This scam is certain to spread to consumers when high utility bills come due in January from December sub-degree temperatures.
BBB reminds consumers that despite the convenience of purchase, the Green Dot MoneyPak cards have become one of the primary tools used by scammers to steal money from consumers. Scammers have found ways to deceive consumers into handing over the MoneyPak 14-digit security code over the telephone, thereby allowing the scammers to immediately transfer the money out of the account.
Once transferred, the consumer’s money is lost.
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The BBB of Middle Tennessee, Inc. was founded in 1961 as a non-profit Tennessee organization serving 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and 7 counties in Southern Kentucky. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada.
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