HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Some scammers are going to great lengths to con people out of their money, including setting up fake call centers. One restaurant in Dauphin County was the latest target.
Marisol Jacobo was working the counter at Gabriel’s Pizza in Susquehanna Township when she picked up a phone call.
The caller ID and the man on the phone said they were from PPL.
“‘You’re two payments behind, that you need to call ASAP and give them billing for it.’ And I said, ‘okay, well I’m not the boss. I’m not the owner. If you give me a number I can call you back on it,'” Jacobo said.
The owner, her dad, did call the number back, and heard an automated message saying “Welcome to PPL Electric Utilities.” He talked to an actual person too.
“Why are you calling when all the payments are due? They wanted him to leak the information to them. They didn’t want to give him no information back,” Jacobo said.
PPL regional affairs director Jess Baker says that’s a red flag, as is asking for payment in the form of gift cards.
“We’ll never ask you for that type of specific payment and we’ll never call you up and ask you for your account number or any other personal information of yours,” Baker said.
In this case, Jacobo was told their power would be shut off in 10 or 15 minutes if they didn’t pay. After further questioning, the scammer hung up.
“If someone calls you and threatens that they’re going to cut your power off right then if you don’t provide payment, that is always going to be a scam because we’ll send you a letter 10 day before we plan to shut off your electricity for non-payment,” Baker said.
Baker says if you do get a call from someone claiming to be with PPL, always call the number listed on their website, 1-800-342-5775.
If you think you’re the victim of a scam, contact your local police department and PPL.