Police warn of electricity scam

By Stephanie Grinnell | Dec 04, 2013

Camden — Camden police have received one report of a scam that threatens near-immediate disconnection of electricity.

Detective Curt Andrick said callers have made telephone contact with homes and businesses in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island as well. The phone calls originate overseas and scammers are able to make an official Central Maine Power Co. phone number appear on victims' caller ID systems.

"The callers are threatening to shut off the power, in some cases as soon as 45 minutes," Andrick said Dec. 2.

Targeted victims are instructed to purchase a prepaid debit card and call the scammer back with the information and PIN number to make a payment over the phone, he said.

"Businesses aren't going to collect debts using that method," Andrick said, noting electricity disconnection is a lengthy process and also requires written notification.

Requesting victims purchase a prepaid debit card is not a new scam, though scammers representing themselves as the power company is, he said.

Anyone receiving a phone call they suspect is a scam should contact police, Andrick said, so the scams can be tracked.

Courier Publications Editor Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at sgrinnell@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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Staff Profile

Stephanie Grinnell
(207) 236-8511 ext. 302
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Stephanie has served as editor of Camden Herald since its return in April 2012.

Previously, she was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has worked a number of years in the newspaper business from southern Maine to Waldo County.

Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.

Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and two chickens.

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