Owner of Bangkok Downtown victim of power shut off scam

Owner of Bangkok Downtown victim of power shut off scam

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The owner of the popular Bangkok Downtown restaurant was the victim of a scam that's been going around the area, according to police.

The troubling thing about this one is that the con artist apparently had some inside information.

According to the police report, Kongkeo Phomsaly got a call at the restaurant on Thursday from someone claiming to be with Duke Power. The caller told Phomsaly that the company had recently installed a new meter on the back wall of the restaurant and that a discrepancy had been discovered.

The caller told Phomsaly that he was now $800 behind in his payment to Duke, and that if he didn't pay immediately, the power at the restaurant would be shut off.

The caller told Phomsaly to go an purchase gift cards worth $800 and then call back and give the caller the numbers associated with the cards.

After hanging up, Phomsaly called a different number for Duke Power. He was told that a new meter had indeed been installed on the building, and that it could cause a change in the amount owed. Phomsaly did not explain about the call he had received, according to police.

Phomsaly then went to Food Lion and bought gift cards totaling $800, then called the number he had been given and shared the card numbers.

Moments later Phomsaly called Duke Power to make sure they had received payment and to make sure that his power would not be disconnected. The Duke representative then told Phomsaly that he had apparently been the victim of a scam.

Salisbury Police Captain Sheila Lingle told WBTV that a similar scam had been active over the last few weeks in Salisbury. Lingle says Duke Power does not make such phone calls and never requests gift cards for payment.

Lingle did say that it was odd that the caller knew that new power meter had been placed on the building.

Anyone with information on this scam is urged to contact Salisbury Police or Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.