Duke Energy warns about sophisticated scam targeting small businesses

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - As the season changes and temperatures begin to drop, a utility scam is heating up.

Duke Energy reported a spike in reports of a sophisticated scam targeting its customers.

Here's how it works. A customer gets a call from a number that shows up on the caller ID as Duke Energy. They're told they have a past due balance that must be paid by money gram immediately or else they will be disconnected that day.

"This month alone in October, we’ve had about 50 reports from Indiana customers," said Duke Energy spokeswoman Angeline Protogere. "We’ve had reports of about $5,000 in losses.”

Protogere added that Duke has noticed scammers are targeting more small businesses and Spanish-speaking places of employment.

"The call sounds very legitimate," she said.

Scammers have even been able to duplicate Duke Energy's "Upfront Interactive Voice Response System" so the call will sound like it is real.

If you get this call, hang up and call Duke Energy back yourself to find out what's really going on with your account.

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