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July 10th, 2016


Phone Scam Targeting Caernarvon Township Businesses


Phone Scam Targeting Caernarvon Township BusinessesPolice are sounding the alarm about a utility company phone scam that appears to be targeting southern Berks County business owners.

“They’re very good,” Caernavon Township Police Chief John Scalia said.

“They have managers on the phone, they have people that have your account numbers, they know the last payment you made.”

Over the last month, police say three businesses – Billy Burgers and Bakery, Nuse’s Deli, and Joanna General Store – reported being the targets of a phone scam operation. Billy McConnell, owner of Billy Burgers and Bakery, said scammers have called his business four times.

“Usually you get a call right around lunch time,” he said. “They like to call during a time when you are busy.”

Police said the scammers claim to be with PPL Electric and tell the businesses that they need to pay their bills or their electricity will be turned off.

“Naturally as a business owner, you’re concerned because, ‘Oh I didn’t pay my bill,'” McConnell said.

“Because you have a business, so you can’t have anything shut off.”

Police said the scammers usually make odd requests to expedite the payment, including demanding money orders.

“I’ve noticed some people had already asked them to go to the bank, and they’ll stay on the phone all the way to the bank,” Scalia said.

McConnell said this isn’t the first time he’s been the target of a scam and knew something wasn’t right.

“It’s always good to go to the official place and call them, make sure everything is good,” he said.

“At that point I knew that something was wrong.”

Scalia said he’s only aware of businesses being targeted. But if any individuals suspect that they’ve been a target of this phone scam, they are urged to contact authorities straight away.


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