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Company warns of utilities scam in Columbia

The owner of Sake Japanese Bistro and a few Jimmy John’s franchises in Columbia said a man by the name of Jason Martinez tried to scam him.

“He said here’s what you need to do… Go to Wal-Mart or Walgreens and buy a prepaid two hundred and fifty dollar card and send it to this address”, Owner Mike Manahan said.

Martinez told Manahan if he did not pay his Columbia Water and Light bill right then and there, the utilities company would shut off the power immediately.

Manahan went to the city utilities company immediately and found his payments were up to date.

When the business owner called the man back, Manahan still insisted his utilities would be shut off.

“He kept insisting that I need to go down and take care of this or they’ll disconnect me”, Manahan said.

Spokeswoman for Columbia Water and Light, Connie Kacprowicz, said, “The biggest tip off that it’s a scam is the fact that no city of Columbia worker can take a credit card payment over the phone.”

She warns to never pay a bill over the phone, unless you initiate the call.

If someone feels that they are a victim of this scam to call the Columbia police Department and report it.

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