Phone scam targets local businesses

When it comes to attempts to scam people out of their hard-earned cash, there seems to be no end to the machinations of the criminal mind.

On Thursday, Detective Steve Rue of The Dalles Police Department warned residents of the area that a telephone scam has been targeting local small businesses.

“We’ve had at least three or four cases in The Dalles,” said Rue. “It sounds like it started at the beginning of March.”

According to Rue, the caller behind the scam identifies himself as calling from a local utility company. He tells the business owner he or she owes a couple hundred dollars in past due bills for a specified utility payment, and that if they don’t pay that day, the utility service they claim to be calling about will be shut off.

“It’s absolutely not true,” Rue said.

Rue explained that the caller asks the business owner to put money on a card to transfer it.

“It’s definitely a scam,” Rue added. “It’s been targeting local business, but residents should be aware of this as well.”

Rue pointed out that if anyone has any questions about a call, they should contact their local utility company and verify the situation before making a transfer of any funds.

If anyone has been the target of a scam like this, contact The Dalles Police Department at 541-296-2233.

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