'There's all these kind of tidbits of legitimacy that help give it a sense of credibility'
EUGENE, Ore. - Small businesses in Eugene are getting hit with a phone scam pretending to be EWEB.
We spoke to a couple business that got the call on Tuesday. If you received an urgent call or message saying your EWEB account will be disconnected, you’re not the only one.
It happened to small business owner Chip Radebaugh, "I immediately called, we've got lots of frozen food, I didn't want to see everything go to waste." Along with General Manager of MOD Pizza, Shawn Moore, "They've called us twice today, I just kind of knew it was a scam, felt is wasn't real, answered it and hung up right away."
It’s a fairly sophisticated scam that Chip Radebaugh almost fell for, "There's all these kind of tidbits of legitimacy that help give it a sense of credibility...until it eroded."
When they call, it looks like EWEB’s main phone number on the customer’s caller I-D. If you call the number they give, you get a recording they took from EWEB’s main line.
The scammers want immediate payment. They told Radebaugh to pay at a fake address on 29th and Willamette, "That doesn't sound right, so I called EWEB and they said yes, they've got a phone book, they're going down local businesses in Eugene calling all of them. Some of them actually paid."
EWEB’s already received dozens of calls about this scam, "If you haven't received a past due notice or final notice, immediately hang up and call us on our main line: 541-685-7000," says EWEB Spokesperson, Joe Harwood.
He also says the scams are getting more and more creative, but for business owners like Radebaugh, “It's a waste of time, a waste of my time and got my heart rate up for a little bit, but I'd rather other people not go through that.”
A warning that if you find yourself getting this call, hang up and call EWEB directly. If you were scammed, EWEB suggests calling the Attorney General’s Office to report it at 877-877-9392.