Family-owned business in Campbell, MO scammed in electric company scheme

Family-owned business in Campbell, MO scammed in electric company scheme
Updated: Feb. 8, 2017 at 5:55 PM CST
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CAMPBELL, MO (KFVS) - If you've received a call saying you owe on your electric bill, it's probably a scam.

It happened to one family-owned business in Dunklin County.

The owners of a small restaurant in Campbell admit, a fake call cost them big time.

They say the scammer had all their information, even their account numbers.

"We didn't have time to even think about it, it was so legitimate," Gary Crowley said.

Crowley works at his mom's restaurant, Steve & Vondy's Cafe. He says during the lunch hour on Tuesday, he got a call from who a man claiming to be with the electric company, threating to shut off their lights.

"It sounded believable so we had no reason to question it," he said.

So Crowley called his mom, Yvonda Beltz to handle the payment.

Beltz said when she called the number back…the guy over the phone told her she owed more than $600.

"He said they are going to shut it off in 15 minutes," Beltz said. "We have a technician who is going to shut your electric off and I thought its lunchtime, we can't afford that."

The guy told Beltz to go to the Casey's Gas Station up the street and put four hundred and ninety six dollars on a reloadable card.

Feeling panicked, Beltz did it.

"He was walking me through this over the phone telling me they're going to give the money back and we've stopped your termination," she said. "And you'll get the money back and a 30 dollar credit on your bill because of this hassle."

But the scam wasn't over.

Beltz said a short time later, another guy called her for more money and that's when she found out, she's been scammed.

Her son Crowley quickly called back to see what was going on and you won't believe what he heard.

"He said 'I just got a notification that it hit my bank account, I'm drinking a Pina Colada right now, tell your mom I appreciate her money'." Crowley said.

Beltz said she feels taken advantage of and warns everyone to always pay attention.

"I would just say question everything," she said. "You hate to have to do that and not trust people, but with this type of stuff going on you have to!"

The number to look out for is (1) 800-620-2350.

The number is known to change companies from time to time.

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