Small businesses targeted by phone scammers

By: Ethan Hutchins Email
By: Ethan Hutchins Email

DURANT,OK -- Local businesses have recently been targeted by phone scammers claiming to be electric companies.

"I was just in a bad situation and fell for it," said Salitas' owner Mark Rawlings.

Bryan County investigators says scammers are posing as electric utility workers with OG&E, who tell business owners that their electricity will be shut off unless they buy a green-dot prepaid debit card and load it with money.

Salitas owner, Mark Rawlings says they sounded legit and he almost fell for it.

"There was a delinquent in my bill and they were having to cut off my electricity at 11:15....They said here's a number you got to call and they gave me a "405" area code number," said Rawlings.

Rawlings says when he got to the bank to withdraw $1,400, his banker told him it was a scam. He spoke to a real employee for OG&E, who says the scam is going on and to be careful.

Now he wants to help other businesses avoid the scam and warns you to think twice before you pull out your wallet.

"I was willing to do whatever to make sure my electricity wasn't turned off," said Rawlings.

We tried calling back the phone number claiming to be OG&E and they said they're a company called Harry's Pizza and knew nothing about the scam.

Bryan County Sheriff Ken Golden says this is just the latest scam to be reported in recent months.

"These scammers are very smart; they are very smart," said Golden.

Whether it's through the mail and over the phone, Golden says use cation and common sense and if you have any questions or concerns call law enforcment.

"Please do not fall for those scams," said Golden.


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