Lakeland businesses targets in payment scam - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland businesses targets in payment scam

Posted: Updated:
Palace Italian Restaurant targeted in electric bill scam Palace Italian Restaurant targeted in electric bill scam
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Three Lakeland restaurants have been targeted in a scam designed to scare owners into paying their electric bill to the unknown caller.

Now the City of Lakeland is warning businesses and residents alike not to fall for the scam, which is sophisticated and convincing.

Palace Italian Restaurant owner's wife Silia Esposito said she was in a state of fear when she got the call on a recent Sunday. The caller, whose number showed up on caller ID city government number, demanded the restaurant pay within one hour or their electricity would be shut off. Esposito said she chose to quickly pay the electric bill through mail, though it was not yet due.

Beef O Brady's Manager Tim Bosko told a similar story. The caller convinced him to go to Wal-Mart to buy a certain type money card but then he realized that was not a way to pay an electric bill.

"The man was very persistent. He ruled the conversation and was not letting up," Bosko said.

Tonight on News Channel 8, we'll share tips on protecting yourself from such scams and ways the electric company will never ask you for payment.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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