Fraudsters scammed a Burbank hair salon out of nearly $500 Tuesday after posing as utility workers on the phone demanding payments for outstanding power bills, police said.
At 2:15 p.m., a man called Beauty Works Hair Salon – located at 2424 W. Magnolia Blvd. – demanding that the business send an electronic money transfer within an hour or the power would be shut off, said Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn.
The business operator subsequently shelled out $483 to purchase a MoneyPak card and called the man back with the information. The woman called police after the man on the phone said her payment was only half what she owed, Ryburn said.
Authorities believe the man was calling from outside the country.
The incident marks the latest in a string of scams reported in recent months in which imposters call utility customers threatening to shut off power.
Burbank Water and Power officials would never call customers over the phone demanding payments, Ryburn said.
Utility customers have four methods to pay their bills, officials said, including by mail, in person at utility offices, through payment boxes located throughout the city and online at burbankwaterandpower.com.
Anyone with questions about how to make a utility payment can call Burbank Water and Power at (818) 238-3700.
Businesses that may have received a call from an impersonator are encouraged to call Burbank police at (818) 238-3210.