CINCINNATI (WXIX) – One Norwood business owner was scammed out of $3,600 by someone claiming to pay in Bitcoin.
Jorge Cortes says that he received what he thought was a Duke Energy bill for his business, Cortes Barbershop.
His first thought was to pay the bill, but it was not that easy.
“He said you can make a payment,” Cortes said. “They gave me this address to reach where this bitcoin is.”
Cortes says that he had never heard of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
“The first time I did the first transaction, he walked me through. He showed me this, code, I guess I was going to be able to go through with the transaction, and it did.”
Then the scammer who was speaking to Cortes said that he needed to transfer him to his boss and while he was on the phone, he was told to pay more money.
“His boss was like; we’re going to have to ask you for a deposit because you are three months behind,” Cortes said.
About a few hours later, Cortes realized that he was not behind on his payments because he received the real Duke Energy bill in the mail.
Duke Energy spokesperson, Sally Thelen, says that Duke Energy will never call someone to tell them they are about to be disconnected or to ask for their account number.
Scammers typically look up the company’s name and number and act like a bill collector, not asking for personal information, just money.
“They think, oh, they’re probably not going to be on top of their bills, and we’ll call them when it’s a busy time if they’re a restaurant or diner with a room full of diners where they can’t stop serving to go and check a bill, and certainly they prey on folks like that, and it’s unfortunate,” Thelen said.
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