Homeowners and small businesses in the Triangle and across the country are being targeted by scammers posing as the power company.
The scammers threaten to turn off your power unless you pay big bucks on the spot.
Randy's Pizza in Durham was a recent victim. The business received a call during the busy lunch hour rush from someone posing as Duke Energy employee saying they had 45 minutes to call back with a prepaid debit card to pay an outstanding bill or the power would be shut off.
The business didn't want to take a chance, so it paid nearly $900.
"I will never see it," owner David Kolenberg said of the money. "There is no way to catch these people. It was a good scam."
Duke Energy said similar scams are happening in other regions with the crooks posing as whatever that local power company is.
The company said it always provides advance notice of a power shut off and would never ask a customer to pay with a prepaid card on the spot.