Crooks targeting businesses over bogus electric bills

TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Crooks are now targeting businesses saying their electricity will be shut off unless they come up with cash in the next 30 minutes.

The threat is coming from a company pretending to be the real electric company. It's a threat that should be ignored.

At Quinsey's Automotive in Toledo the lights are on and will remain on. They've not been behind on the bill, although a crook tried to convince them otherwise.

Quinsey Hammond was busy last Friday when he got the call. The person on the other line said he was from the electric company. They told Hammond that he owed around $1000 in an electricity bill.

"it was a Friday afternoon. You think someone is coming to your facility and they're going to disconnect your electricity. You're in the cold," said Hammond.

That urgency is what crooks are looking for. Then then put on the hard sell.

"I had about 30 minutes to pay this bill or they were coming to get my meter and shut my electricity off," said Hammond.

Hammond smartly hung up and found a real number for Toledo Edison and called them. He asked if his bill was past due. It was not, just like he thought.

"It's frustrating because if i wasn't alert that day, let's say I was real busy or have an employee answer that call, now what," said Hammond.

If it's a real utility company, electric, gas, water they'll always send you things in writings before a shutoff and never force you to come up with cash in 30 minutes.

Hammond recognized all the signs and saved himself a lot of money.