Regular readers will know that we can’t stand scammers trying to separate good people from their money and that we write about their antics until you all say: pleeeeaase, stop! And then, they come up with another one.
These grifters, probably working in a foreign land with no existing extradition protocol, are hitting us hard – and they’re even hitting on the folks we trust to protect us from people like them.
The truth is: they’ve everywhere, they keep coming, they keep massaging their scripts and acting skills and, apparently, they’re going to keep coming because it’s really hard to stop them and because even if they score just once in 100 calls – they win.
The current call works like this: You get a pitch from an official-sounding call-maker with a bogus and totally fluffed up scam number (we have some but there are too many to list here) and when you call it the person on the other end of the line comes in from feeding his goats or whatever, asks for your address and then “confirms” that your PG&E bill is overdue. There must be a lot of folks falling behind on those dang things because quite a few of you are following instructions to go to a local business, buy a MoneyPak card for the unpaid amount, and then call back with the issued card number.
Smell fishy, yet? Good for you, but not for enough of you, yet, because some are giving them those numbers and then the cons are claiming “their money.”
If you think anyone is immune from this ripoff you’d be wrong as even smart, badged law enforcement types are getting hit up – including Moraga PD’s own Jon King, who had a little fun with the callers and gave them his headquarter’s address as his residence – the scammers promptly pronouncing him $498.76 in arrears.
Needless to say, Chief King didn’t lose out and the scammer probably lost some precious time with his goats but others have not been so smart or lucky.
As the chief says: Do not fall for this scam. Call your local PD office with any questions or concerns. If you think your PG&E bill is overdue, contact the utility with the numbers on your bill or the number listed for PG&E and discuss the matter with them.
They don’t ask for payment via MoneyPak card and they don’t have any goats – yet.