PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. -- Putnam County businesses are being warned of a telephone scam where the suspects claim to be from the local utility company, according to Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith.
Recently, the Sheriff's Department said it has received a number of inquiries from businesses in the Philipstown area that have received telephone calls from a person claiming to be a representative of Central Hudson Gas and Electric., sheriff's officials said.
The caller states that the business is behind in its electric payments, and that the power will be disconnected if payment is not received by 5 p.m. Some businesses have independently verified with CHG&E that the calls did not come from the utility company, sheriff's officials added.
The caller creates a sense of fear and urgency in the business owners by ordering them to pay the “overdue bills” in an unconventional fashion, such as via Western Union or via nearby pharmacies that offer a service to wire funds to undisclosed locations, sheriff's officials said.
Smith urges local business owners who receive such a call to verify the information via the telephone number displayed on their utility bill.
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