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police & fire

Port Chester Woman Loses $200 In Bill-Paying Scam

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – A 30-year-old Port Chester woman was scammed out of $200 in an apparent scam by a person claiming to be from Consolidated Edison, police said.

On Tuesday around 4:30 p.m, the woman told police she received a phone call Monday from a man identifying himself as “Mike Lopez” from the utility company. He informed her that she owed $199.98 and said power would be shut off at her home. She had her credit card ready to pay the bill, but he told her the company would only accept a prepaid credit card purchased from a local pharmacy.

“That probably should have been a tip-off,” said Lt. Jim Ladeairous, spokesman for the Port Chester Police Department.

The woman purchased the card in Walgreens and called the number back, giving the information from the card. The next day, the woman called Con Edison and a representative informed her she was the victim of a fraud. When she reported it to the police later that day, an officer called the number she had and a person answered saying they were at 415 Irving Place in downtown Manhattan and informed the officer that walk-in payments and cash were welcome.

“Con Ed said it is an ongoing problem. They said they would report it to the investigation fraud unit,” said Ladeairous. “Unfortunately the woman was out the $200.”

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