In yet another elaborate phone scam, a Kent resident was targeted and coerced to pay up nearly $600.
On June 8th, Gretchen Brown fell victim to scammers who claimed to be technicians from Ohio Edison.
The scammers warned that if Gretchen didn’t pay $600 in 40 minutes, they would turn off her electricity. They also called on a Friday, which would make it harder to contact the real technicians in the next two days.
“We couldn’t have been without electricity for two days in the 90-degree heat, so I fell for it,” said Gretchen.
“The only thing we could do is we gathered up our wedding rings, I had a gold necklace and some other pieces of not expensive jewellery and we went to a pawn shop.”
After spreading out the money between two Money Pak cards, as had been instructed to her, Gretchen called to read the numbers.
The technicians did not stop there – they proceeded to call her shortly afterwards to ask for yet another payment of $600, as she had paid up the wrong amount.
Gretchen then called Ohio Edison in order to ask for a time extension to pay the bill, and that is when she was informed of the scam.
The scammers had used a software called I.D. Spoofing Software, which helped them convince Gretchen that they were calling from Ohio Edison. This software not only allows them to manipulate phone numbers they’re calling from, but also access automated messages.
Although similar scams have been around for long, thanks to advances in technology, scammers are finding newer and more efficient methods to trick victims.
Residents in Northeast Ohio are warned to be suspicious of similar calls. People should refrain from paying for anything through a phone call.