Walnut Creek Business Owner Loses $2,000 in PG&E Scam

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A scam artist posing as a PG&E employee recently duped a business owner into giving $2,000 after threatening to shut the restaurant's electricity off. Cheryl Hurd reports.

    A scam artist posing as a PG&E employee recently duped a business owner into giving $2,000 after threatening to shut the restaurant's electricity off.

    Bahman Tehrani, who owns the Lettuce Restaurant in Walnut Creek, said the person played off the scorching temperatures to help lure him into falling for the scam.

    The line outside his popular restaurant was out the door on Sunday when the call came in.

    Bahman said one of his workers, who answered the phone, told him that the caller threatened to shut the power off if he didn't pay $2,000 right away. The call, Bahman said, sounded official and included on-hold music.

    Bahman followed directions to purchase "MoneyPak" cards from 7-Eleven, a card that allows you to put money on it. The cash is unable to be traced to the recipient, officials said.

    The restaurant owner called PG&E Monday morning to complain, but was dealt with the news that he was a victim of a scam.

    "Then the person told me from PG&E there's a fraud going on," Bahman said. "There's a scam going on."

    Walnut Creek Police Detective Mike Hulbut said his department receives fraud complaints daily.

    "If it’s winning the Jamaican lottery or my grandson’s in a Mexican jail house, those types of scams are happening daily,” Hulbut said.

    View more in Cheryl Hurd's video report above.