DETROIT (WWJ) – DTE Energy says, in the last five months, nearly 100 southeast Michigan small business customers have been robbed of thousands of dollars by crooks posing as utility employees.

One of those customers is Bob Berg, owner of Brady’s Tavern in Beverly Hills, who told WWJ’s Zahra Huber he got a call from someone who claimed to be a DTE employee, telling him he was late on his payment and that his power would immediately get shut off .

Berg said that even though the caller was pretty convincing, he checked his records and saw he was up-to-date on his bill.

But he says the con man continued to try to convince him to pay up – and, eventually, he did.

“The only for me to bring the account current was to buy a Green Dot card for an amount which was… he quoted me $1,956 and 11 cents — it was very, very close to what my actual bill is,  so, that really kinda threw me again,” Berg said.

Berg said that when he heard “Green Dot” he was clued in that it could be a scam — and DTE confirmed that’s correct.

A DTE Energy spokesperson told WWJ they will never ask people to make a payment through a Green Dot card.  Also, she said, DTE doesn’t go door to door to collect payments.

DTE customers business and residential customers who have any doubt about a requested payment or who have any questions billing questions should call 1-800-477-4747.

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