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Scammers take hard-earned money from small business owner

Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-29 18:42:19-04

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla., -- One small business owner says in his 30 years he's never been scammed out of his money. But, with one phone call that all changed Friday afternoon. 

“Now that I went through it, I don’t do anything over the phone,” said Michael Morrone, owner of Morrone's Pizzeria. 

Morrone says he received a phone call from a woman pretending to be a representative of Lee County Electric (LCEC) with his account information.  

“The woman said I had two hours to make payments otherwise the electric would be turned off.” 

The pizzeria owner says the woman said his bank payments weren't going through and he needed to go over to Winn Dixie or CVS to get a "green dot card." He says he was promised his money would be reimbursed once his bank payments went through. 

According to the Lee County Sheriff's office, Morrone lost nearly $1,000, money, he says, he will never see again. 

“You’ll be lucky if you get even $100 back," he explained. “The FBI and all those agencies really can’t do that much to find these people… and it just doesn’t seem right that there’s nothing that can be done.” 

LCEC released this statement on their Facebook page: 

"SCAM ALERT: Reports of suspicious phone calls requesting LCEC account information and a pin number to reference, are coming into our call center. LCEC does NOT contact customers in this manner, it is a scam."