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Phone Scammers Targeting Local Restaurants During Busy Hours

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It's the timing of a scam that's making it effective against local restaurant owners. And restaurant owners say the scammers are spoofing their numbers, making the caller ID appear like Duquesne Light.

It's a nonstop breakfast rush at Eggs and Moore.

"We were very busy Saturday -- it's one of the big days."

So when the phone rings along Arlington Avenue, there's not a lot of time to talk.

"My granddaughter -- the owner's daughter -- answered the phone and they said it was Duquesne Light and they had to pay the bill right away within three hours or they were going to terminate the service," says Sue Moore.

The lights can't shut off at brunch time -- Sue Moore said her granddaughter panicked.

"She called her mother thinking that somebody forgot to pay the bill and found out it was a scam," says Moore.

A scam that's hitting Pittsburgh businesses hard.

"This past Saturday they've called like at least three times back to back," says Lynnise Barham at the Fudge Farm.

Barham is busy 12 hours later along the South Side, and realizes she's the scammers prime target.

"Trying to handle customers, trying to answer the phone. It's just like, 'hold on. Let me get this.' It's just kind of like trying to multi-task."

KDKA's Meghan Schiller reached out to Duquense Light to see what they had to say.

They're telling business owners to hang up and dial 412-393-7100 to report the situation and talk to a customer service rep.

"Pretending to be Duquesne Light, meanwhile it's someone else trying to get all this money. It's sad honestly," says Barham.

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