Phone scam targets businesses

Written by Gillian Smith
 | Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:40

Two local businesses were victims of an attempted scam last week, both within 48 hours of each other.

According to a press release from Police Chief Mat- thew Clancy last Wednesday, June 2, the businesses received a call from an 800 number. They caller claimed to be a representative from NStar, the local electric utility provider. The caller told the businesses that the power was about to be shut off and suggested a truck was on the way to accomplish a shut off.

The caller directed the business to immediately purchase a “Green Dot” card to use as immediate payment to stop the shutoff.

“This is a SCAM (sic),” Clancy said in the press re- lease. “NStar does not conduct business in this fashion and is working with police on this issue.”

In both incidents in Duxbury, the caller told the business owner to purchase the “Green Dot” cards from Rite Aid.

“Duxbury Police have notified Rite Aid that their business is being used to facilitate this scam,” Clancy said. “The purchase of Green Dot cards is a legitimate service and convenience to customers when done so without criminal in- tent.”

In April, the Hingham Police Department reported several similar incidents with businesses in their town, including one restaurant that purchased a card and lost money.

Residents are urged to be on alert in the event that they receive a similar call.

“As we always strongly recommend, when you receive unsolicited calls seeking immediate payments, please verify,” Clancy said. “The Duxbury Police is happy to assist residents with such verification and we ask that business owners and residents report any such incident to the police.”