COLORADO SPRINGS – The owner of a local vape lounge wants to warn marijuana dispensary owners about a scam involving a bogus utility company he was targeted for.
Jaymen Johnson, the owner of Speakeasy Vape Lounge, says the person on the phone threatened to shut off power unless he paid for his utility meter.
The first time, they tried to scam him out of 300-dollars asking him to send a MoneyGram through a pharmacy or gas station.
He didn’t fall for it either time, but this time around, he learned even more about the scammer’s tactics.
Two days ago, he got that call at around four o’clock in the evening.
“[He was] telling me they had installed [the meter] but never received payment for it and so they were sending a technician over to remove my meter which would effectively disconnect my utilities,” Johnson said.
“At that moment I laughed and I said, ‘Hey, I know what you guys are doing, I know this is a scam,'” he recalled.
“And to my surprise, the gentleman got very cordial with me and laughed back and said, ‘Oh so you know about this one, huh?'”
The scammer even bluntly admitted his intentions.
“We know you guys are high,” the man in the phone recording said with a chuckle.
“We call you and we hit you over the head.”
“They call you at the end of the day. They choose a time that they believe that you’re going to be distracted or inebriated,” Johnson pointed out.
He says they’re well-versed in regulations, too, and use that knowledge to take advantage.
“I was impressed,” Johnson admitted.
“You know, it showed insight. It showed reasoning and thinking.”
But he wants dispensary owners to stay one step ahead ahead and not fall victim.
“They’re aware that for a lot of us, it’s a make or break situation,” he noted.
“That we’re one bad business day away from losing all we have. And so they’re capitalizing on our fear.”
Johnson says he suspects the scammers are also gathering intel from people in the industry who scope out the different businesses, and he hopes this serves as a warning for dispensary owners to stay alert.