Scammers with the power to steal thousands continue to hit businesses in Connecticut.
The most recent almost victim of the utility scam was Chicago Sam’s in Cromwell.
With dozens of flat screen televisions going all day long, managing the bar is not a cheap operation.
“It's probably about $10,000 a month believe it or not...$120,000 a year,” said Manager Robert Caravello.
He received a random call from someone looking to collect on that $10,000 bill, which alarmed him.
“We had a half hour to pay the bill or we would be shut off, they're on the way to shut us off,” he said.
While Caravello said he can usually detect a scam, this one seemed legitimate.
“They seemed very cool, calm and collected. I asked them to talk to customer service and they gave me a number to call and when I called they actually answered as customer service for Eversource,” Caravello said.
He called his bookkeeper to double check that the bill was indeed paid, and it was, so his next move was to call the police.
“I was the seventh call the police department has taken in about a half hour after I got the phone call
Eversource officials are warning residents and business owners about the scam, and how to not fall for it.
“We will never call you and demand immediate payment over the phone. We will never tell you to use a prepaid debit card or a reloaded card or tell you to pay in cash or to meet us at a convenience store,” said Mitch Gross, of Eversource.
Caravello didn’t fall for the scam, but he’s definitely not the only one getting the phone calls. He said he worries for elderly homeowners or business owners who don’t speak English very well.
“Probably 50 percent of the people are paying some kind of money not to get shut off, so they have to be aware that there's a big scam going on right now,” Caravello said.
Eversource officials said they recently had a case of a business owner in Southeastern Connecticut who lost more than $1,000.
Eversource said it may be an inconvenience but urge anyone who gets these calls to call them immediately.
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