Arlington Heights police responded about 12:31 PM Sunday to a report of telephone fraud to a business owner on the southside of Arlington Heights . Police received a report that a victim received a phone call from a male claiming to be a representative of ComEd. The offender claimed the victim’s power would be disconnected if he didn’t catch up with the payments of his ComEd bill.
The victim was told to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid card. The offender told the victim to go to the nearest Walgreens, purchase the card, and provide him with the serial number. The victim complied, but then realized the request was probably a scam, especially when he realized his Com Ed bill payments were current.
The victim tried to call the offender’s phone number and discovered that the phone was a magicJack phone. The victim also attempted to stop the transaction, but it was too late.
The crime is reported to have occurred between Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. and Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.
A Green Dot MoneyPak, available at Walgreens and other stores, comes with a scratch-off 14-digit serial number. To transfer funds to a prepaid debit card, holders call or visit the MoneyPak or Green Dot websites and reveal the number. Scams involving MoneyPak initially appeared in 2009 as a way to get unsuspecting victims to pay “finder’s fees” to secure nonexistent government grants.
The criminal operation using the legitimate Green Dot card business is a well known scam involving the Con Edison electric company in New York — operating via telephone fraud and via e-mails.
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