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Small Business Scam: It’s Heating Up and The Scammers Have a New Trick

JACKSON, Miss.–If you own a small business in Mississippi, you need to be on the lookout for this scam. It’s an attempt to get your money, and they way these guys do it, you’ll never see the cash again.

“They might call a restaurant an hour before their busiest time, the dinner hour, starts,” said Entergy Mississippi spokesperson Mara Hartmann. “They say ‘you’re overdue on your electric bill and we’re gonna cut you off unless you pay right now!'”

Hartmann said the scammers get you to go to Walgreens or CVS and put money on a “Green Dot” or “Money Pack” card and pay that way.

“Then you’ve just sent your money off to, who knows. We haven’t caught the people yet.”

It’s happened in years past, but this summer, there’s a new twist. Your power company’s name may actually come up on your caller ID. It’s very convincing.

“If you see your utility’s name on the phone, at least if it’s Entergy, hang up. Call us back. That way you know you’re talking to a customer service rep.”

Hartmann said that advice can apply to customers of any power company. She said Enetergy does not contact you by phone if you’re overdue and does not demand immediate payment with a cutoff threat.

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