Moorpark - Beware of Utility Scams via Telephone and Internet
9/23/2013 8:00:00 AM
Nature of Incident:
Telephone & Internet Scams
City of Moorpark
Date & Time:
Moorpark Police Department, Investigations Bureau,
610 Spring Rd., Moorpark, CA 93021
In August and September of 2013, the Moorpark Police Department Investigations Bureau conducted several investigations involving phone and Internet scams.
The suspects used a variety of stories to get the victims to wire money to a specific location. In one scam, a local restaurant received a telephone call from a person claiming to be a Southern California Edison (SCE) employee. The SCE employee told the restaurant owner their electricity was going to be shut off if they didn't immediately purchase a 'Green Dot Money Pak' gift card and provide the code on the back of the card for payment. In this case, after the call ended, the owner grew suspicious and called SCE. The restaurant owner was told by SCE that this was a common statewide scam. SCE has reported over 800 of these scams this year alone, and consistently conducts public outreach to alert customers of the scam.
In another scam, an elderly Moorpark resident received a telephone call from someone claiming to be his grandson. The grandson said he was in a Mexican jail as a result of a traffic collision and needed money wired to him immediately. The grandfather, believing the caller was his grandson and was in trouble, immediately had the money wired to the location provided by his 'grandson.' After wiring the money, the grandfather called the number that appeared on his caller ID when his 'grandson' called, and a subject claiming to be the grandson's attorney answered and asked for additional money to make collision repairs. At this point, the grandfather grew suspicious and spoke to his son and grandson, who both live in Canada. The grandfather learned the calls were a hoax. The grandson was never arrested or even in Mexico. An investigation determined the suspect telephone number was a Canadian phone number from a city near where the grandson lives. Further investigation revealed the wire transfer was to a location in Canada.
In order to avoid being the victim of scams, Moorpark residents are encouraged to:
- Be suspicious of anyone who calls unexpectedly and asks for cash.
- Resist the pressure to act quickly.
- Try to contact your loved one, grandchild, or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.
- Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail. Wiring money is like giving cash away'once you send it, you can't get it back.
- If you are or have been a victim and have not previously reported the crime involving such a scam and reside in the City of Moorpark, the Moorpark Police Department encourages you to call 805-532-2700 or 805-654-9511 and make a report. If you are within another law enforcement jurisdiction, please notify your local law enforcement agency
Sergeant Eric Tennessen
Media Release Date:
September 23, 2013
Detective Kevin Lynch 805-532-2714
Captain Stephen Wade
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).