Ferndale business owner loses thousands to scammers pretending to be from DTE Energy

Woman says scammers demanded payment via bitcoin

FERNDALE, Mich. - Ferndale police are sounding the alarm after a scam cost a business owner thousands of dollars.

Scammers are using a new tactic to trick victims, and police the business owner thought she was dealing with DTE Energy.

A bitcoin machine sits just beyond the chips and pop inside a gas station on Eight Mile Road in Ferndale. That's where the business owner thought she was settling her DTE bill, but instead, she said she learned a valuable lesson.

She asked not to have her face shown on camera because she's embarrassed.

Last week while in her Ferndale nail salon, the woman received a call and text messages from what she thought was DTE Energy. The caller told her if she didn't send over thousands of dollars immediately via Bitcoin, her power would be cut.

She said her store was full of paying customers at the time.

Ferndale police are investigating the case, but authorities said the money is likely gone.

DTE officials said they will never call customers and demand payment with a gift card or bitcoin.

Anyone who gets a call from DTE and something feels off should hang up and call the company directly with any questions about bills, officials said.

You can watch Hank Winchester's full story in the video posted above.

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