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WHEATFIELD – The owner of Kim’s International cafe on Lockport Road told Niagara County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday that he responded to a call from a man claiming to be from National Grid who threatened to shut off his power unless he immediately turned over $500.

The 71-year-old man told deputies that at 2 p.m. Tuesday a caller said a crew was on its way to shut off the power unless he purchased a Pay Pal Green Dot card for $500 and called back immediately. The victim said he purchased the $500 card and provided the caller with the code to access the cash.

The victim told sheriff’s deputies that he contacted National Grid and was told that this was a scam that “happens at least 10 times a day.”

The victim said he paid the money because in the past the gas company had shut off his power while he was conducting business and didn’t want something like this to happen again.