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Empire Warns of Continuing Phone Scam - KOAM TV 7

Empire Warns of Continuing Phone Scam

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"To have to close after working so hard to open, even though it was a soft opening, we had a lot of prep time to for the last few months and really getting things squared away to have to close at this point would be pretty catastrophic for us," says Johnson.

Andy Johnson and his wife recently opened a new coffee shop on 7th St. just a week and half ago.

And when he got a call demanding money, and that he was late on his electric bill it seemed his coffee shop dreams might come to an end.

“So we wouldn't be able to bake. We wouldn't be able to keep all of our ingredients that are perishable fresh. So we would lose. We're a small business, we do very limited runs. So it's expensive for us and to lose an entire batch of everything that we do would be the first problem,” says Polka Dot Fox Coffee & Micro-Bakery Co-owner

He says he saw red flags when the caller told him to dial one thousand for collections over a scratchy signal. When they asked for his payment information, he knew something wasn't right.

"And he says ‘well I was gonna transfer you if you'd like to take care of it now.'

And I said ‘No I'm gonna go and I'll see you down there at Empire in downtown.' I said ‘I'm close enough,'” says Johnson.

And that's when the person on the other line hung up. Turns out when Andy checked with Empire it was a scam.

“Trust your instincts. But of course the red flags are if you don't believe your account is past due that should tell you that there's a problem. You know you can discontinue that call at any time," says Empire Media Relations Manager Julie Maus.

And turns out most people aren't falling for it.

“I was glad to hear from the police that they had not had any reported crimes so i sort of thought because yeah most people in Joplin despite they're being friendly. You know, we're not suckers,” Johnson says. 


If you receive a similar call make sure to check with empire first and report it to the police. Empire says they will first send you a letter in the mail if your payment is overdue, and do not call demanding personal account information over the phone. 

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