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Ridgewood Resident Conned Out Of $1,460 In PSE&G Phone Scam

Police constantly warn citizens about phone scammers -- yet people still get taken.
Police constantly warn citizens about phone scammers -- yet people still get taken. Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – A phone scammer suckered a Ridgewood woman out of a significant hunk of cash using the old PSE&G non-payment threat, authorities said Thursday.

The Kenilworth Road resident told police the caller identified himself as an employee of the utility company, then told her that her utilities would be turned off if she didn’t pay an outstanding bill, Police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke said.

The scammer told her to buy $960 worth of MoneyPak cards, after which he had her read him the serial numbers, the chief said.

He didn't stop there, though: The bandit got his victim to buy another $500 worth of MoneyPak cards and give him those serial numbers, Luthcke said.

She finally became suspicious and called police – too late.

That money’s gone.

Police constantly warn citizens about phone scammers -- yet people still get taken.

No one will call you demanding payment for utilities, for ransom for a relative in trouble or for a variety of other illegitimate reasons – unless they’re trying to steal your money, Luthcke said.

And they certainly won’t ask you to buy gift cards or MoneyPac cards or any other type of pre-paid card, wire transfer or bitcon, she said.

“Please notify the police department if you feel you have been or are in the process of becoming victim to a fraud BEFORE payment is made.,” the chief said.

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NOTE: If you have older relatives or friends, please share this story or speak directly with them. You can also get an idea of how prevalent the scams are and how NOT to become a victim by reading here:

School Yourself, Loved Ones On Various Phone Scams

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