“The Grinch” targets local businesses this holiday season

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CLEVELAND – As families make last-minute preparations for the holidays, “The Grinch” disguised as telephone scammer is seeking to spoil the season. Cleveland Public Power has learned from customers that thieves are once again preying on utility customers to make a quick buck. This week, a commercial business customer was contacted and threatened with disconnection of their electric service by CPP’s competitor if they did not go to a local grocery store in Cleveland Heights and purchase a pre-paid card, and then call a toll-free number and make a payment to the Disconnection Department.

Fortunately, the customers suspected something was amiss and contacted CPP’s Customer Service Center and reported the incident.

The Department of Public Utility Police Department has been and will continue to look into these calls, and Cleveland Public Power is urging its customers to disregard these calls.

“This scam is targeting commercial businesses and while Cleveland Public Power will contact these customers about their bills, we would not refer them to a third party payment option. Any suspicious activity like this should be reported to the Public Utilities Police at (216) 443-2426,” said Cleveland Public Power Commissioner Ivan Henderson.

Henderson also said, “When there is a threat of disconnection the only way to make payments would be in person in our Payment Center, by calling in and making a payment with our Customer Service representatives or make an online payment yourself.”

Cleveland Public Power will post notices about the scam on its website and through its social media sites.

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Filed under Bill Payment, Cleveland Public Power

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