Restaurant loses $500 in energy company phone scam

AUSTINTOWN — An Austintown business is out $500 after receiving a phone call from someone masquerading as a representative from an energy company.

Peking Palace on Mahoning Avenue received a call at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 7 from someone who claimed to be an employee of Direct Energy, according to a police report.

The caller claimed that the company no longer accepted check payments and in order for Peking Palace to continue receiving service there needed to be $500 sent through a prepaid credit card.

The restaurant owner did what was asked and then a few days later talked with Direct Energy and discovered the previous call was a fraud. A Direct Energy representative said the company only accepted check payments.

The owner contacted the prepaid card company and was told to file a police report.

Police are investigating.

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