Local business victim of utility bill scam

Two weeks ago J. P. Macfadyen, owner of Great Harvest Bread Company received an urgent call in the middle of rush hour.

He says it was “during lunch in the middle of king cake season with my arms deep in icing.”

The caller claimed to be with the Lafayette Utilities System and told Macfadyen his bill payment was sent to the wrong account.  His electricity would be shut off immediately if he didn’t pay $1,300 with a prepaid card.  Macfadyen says the call seemed legitimate.

“It’s a well-oiled machine they called me on two different numbers I called them back I had four or five conversations throughout the day…you know good customer service.”

Days later Macfadyen called the scammer back, still believing it was LUS and told them he didn’t see his recent payment.

“And at that point they hung up and then I had that sinking feeling in my stomach. I’ve been scammed.”

Mary Coleman, a spokesperson with LUS says customers with past due bills will receive automated calls or letters.

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