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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Phone scammers hit three more Claremont businesses

Three more businesses notified police they were contacted by phone scammers posing as Southern California Edison employees. Residents and business owners should be suspicious of anyone calling and asking for payment over the telephone or by prepaid cards. Call the provider to verify the validity of the request before making any payments and immediately notify the Claremont Police Department at (909) 399-5411.

On Monday, March 16, unknown scammers called a law firm on the 600 block of South Indian Hill around 2 p.m., identified themselves as Edison employees and said a $998.12 electrical bill was past due. They requested immediate payment using Reloadit prepaid cards or the power would be shut off. The victim complied.

On Tuesday, March 17, ZPizza received the same call around 11:30 a.m. The voice on the phone stated that a $998.12 electrical bill was past due and requested immediate payment. The business purchased $998.12 in Reloadit pre-paid cards and paid the amount requested to the thieves.

On Thursday, March 19, Espiau’s received a similar call.  According to restaurant employee, the owner went to Stater Bros to purchase a Reloadit card but the store was fresh out of stock. When the owner called back the alleged SCE employee to notify them that the store didn’t have any more cards, the imposter replied, “Yes they do, it’s on aisle 8.”  The jig was up at that point and Claremont police were called.

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