Petaluma police are alerting local residents to a new telephone scam that has targeted at least two city businesses.

Police said that in the past week an unknown person contacted the businesses to falsely inform them that their PG&E accounts were delinquent. The businesses were told that they had to make an immediate payment or their service would be interrupted.

The caller then instructed the businesses to purchase Green Dot debit cards and make payments by telephone. One business did as instructed and then called PG&E, which informed the business owner that their account was current.

"Petaluma and Sonoma County residents should be aware of this and contact PG&E directly if they are advised they have a delinquent account and payment is requested by telephone," the police said in a statement.

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