ROCK HILL — A Rock Hill restaurant owner fell prey to a telephone scam possibly connected with a con York police have been looking into.
Business owners have told police someone claiming to be from a power company threatens to shut off their electricity if they don’t pay overdue bills.
The owner of Hong Kong Restaurant, 1735 Heckle Boulevard, told police she received a call from a woman claiming to work for the city of Rock Hill, according to a Rock Hill police report. The caller told the restaurant owner that she was $717 behind on her power bill before instructing her to purchase a “Green Dot” card to pay the balance.
The owner complied, but then called police. Officers spoke with Mike Jensen, the city’s central collections supervisor, who said the city doesn’t use a collection agency to collect overdue bills. The restaurant owner dialed the number that called her and handed the phone to a police officer.
The officer spoke with the woman, who said her company had been contracted by the city to collect overdue bills. The woman denied taking any money over the phone but said her company encourages clients to pay as quickly as possible, the report states.
Lt. Brad Redfearn with the Rock Hill Police Department said police were looking into the possibility that the scam is connected with a similar one in York.
“It looks like the same type of businesses are being called, and the same information being given to the victims,” he said.