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Phone Scammers Target Local Businesses

Phone scams are nothing new, but another wave is hitting our area.

This time, they're targeting specific people.

Lo Sole Mio is a well-known staple in Omaha.

To scammers though, they thought the restaurant was a perfect target.

What the scammers found was those at the restaurant weren't about to fall for it.

It's not unusual to get a lot of phone calls at a restaurant like Lo Sole Mio.

In the last month though, they've had some different callers.

"Then I heard her tell the person down in the office, 'They're going to shut the electricity off. The gentleman on the other line said that they have a truck waiting to turn it off," says Marie Lo Sole, of the restaurant, recounting the first incident.

The voice on the phone claimed to be from OPPD.

He said the restaurant could keep power if they went to a Walgreens and sent them $1,500 on a "Green Dot" Card.

Lo Sole knew better. They hung up and called OPPD to check on their account.

"We called them, and of course, they said, 'This is a scam,'" she says.

For Jack & Mary's Restaurant in Omaha, it's been the same story.

Someone called threatening to turn off their power if they didn't pay up.

Kip Otter, of Jack & Mary's, didn't go for it either. "Just watch yourself. Don't give anybody personal information, don't give people credit card numbers. That was the first red flag for me. The utility company would never ask for a credit card number. I knew that," he says.

Lo Sole Mio and Jack & Mary's have both gotten this call twice.

OPPD is aware aware of more than 60 similar cases. OPPD has issued a statement saying, " Residential or business customers should never give personal or financial information to a stranger during an unsolicited telephone call."

Lo Sole has also issued a warning on the restaurant's facebook page.

She wants to use her experience to help others. "Hard-working people, it makes you upset that they are the ones who are falling victim to this," she says.

We're hearing these scammers aren't just claiming to be from OPPD, but other collection agencies, and retailers as well.

Marie Lo Sole wants to warn about another scam too. She and others are getting text messages saying their credit cards have been compromised.

The text prompts you to call a phone number and give your credit card information.

Again, we should never give information to a stranger during an unsolicited phone call or text.


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