Small businesses targeted by possible scammer

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TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) - Southern Select Feeds manager Denise Johnston says it all started Monday morning.

"Jeff said he was with OG&E, said his badge number was 7503," Johnston said, "he had dispatch orders to come and disconnect our electricity, within 45 minutes."

Johnston says she was suspicious because she'd already paid her electricity bill.

She claims the man told her to call dispatch to resolve the issue.

When Johnston called, she received this message:
"The number you dialed is not in service."

"He calls back and says I'm sorry, I couldn't get to you," Johnston said, "I'm like this is strange because I'm supposed to be getting dispatch and not him that actually called."

Johnston immediately called OG&E.

"They had nobody that worked there by that name, or badge number and that was not one of their phone numbers at all," She said.

Dr. Derek Collins got a similar call.

Collins says he knew it was scam..

"The elderly are real susceptible because you know when they're threatened, a lot of times they respond out of fear," Collins said, "they don't check with other people [because] they're used to taking care of their own affairs their whole life."

But the owner of a Tishomingo pizza joint wasn't so lucky.

"They went ahead and paid it and come to find out, when they actually got in touch with the real OG&E, they had [already] paid that bill," Simple Simon's Manager Keela Davis said.

Davis says the scammer had their account number.

"They sounded legit enough that we went ahead and paid them again,"She said, "it was actually paying the scammers and we didn't realize that until after, so we were out."

Davis says they paid the scammers at least $1,000.

OG&E recommends customers check their account balance online before making any payments.

"Everybody works hard for their money, don't try and scam it," Johnston said.