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Joliet Police Warn of Phone Scam

Green Dot card ploy is targeting local businesses.

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
Joliet police on Sunday issued a warning about a phone scam targeting local businesses.

Scammers have been calling businesses and trying to get staff to make supposed utility payments using a pre-paid debit card, police said.

"Area businesses are being called and told that they owe money for a utility bill and it must be paid in the next 45 minutes or the utility will be shut off," police said. "They then state that the payment must be made by a Green Dot Cash card."

Police said the fraudsters are even "spoofing" their phone numbers to make it appear that the calls are coming from a legitimate utility company.

The callers claim that there is an arrest warrant for the business owner, but that it can be taken care of if the bill is paid immediately using a Green Dot Cash card.

"If you receive this type of call, always call back to the number that you have for the company to verify any late or missed payments," police said in a release warning businesses of the scam. "Police departments DO NOT take care of warrants over the phone."

Shantel June 30, 2014 at 01:10 PM
I just want to know who would be foolish enough to fall for that? The smart thing to do is hang up and call the utility company immediately. It's always wise to verify before making any financial transactions especially over the phone or internet.
susie June 30, 2014 at 05:14 PM
I had a friend who is a well educated professional. She was called at work and told that it was an officer with the IRS, and that she owed money. They said if she didn't pay immediately they would arrest her. She called her accountant and found out it was a scam. But, they called her three more times harassing he and threading to come rest her. The frightening part is that they had so much private information about her! And yes, they used a spoof card too, and put the caller ID in as 911. Thankfully she didn't fall for it, but who is to say an elderly person would not??
Shantel June 30, 2014 at 09:16 PM
I'm sure the elderly is preyed upon more often than any.


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