Scammer targets local businessman
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 03, 2014 | 1790 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At least one small business has been targeted as part of an electrical scam twice this year, prompting him to warn many others in the Patterson area.

Barber Antonio Lomeli said he has recently received two calls weeks apart from one another threatening to shut off his electricity if he didn’t pay off his past due bill.

The first instance happened roughly five weeks ago. Lomeli said a man on the telephone wanted him to read off his card number on his credit card to pay for past bill, but he refused.

Instead, he went to Turlock Irrigation District’s branch office in Patterson to prove that he had been paying his bills by pulling out past receipts. TID told him they never tried to contact him about his payments.

He said he received his second scammed call last week, stating the exact same problem with his electric bill. Lomeli said he paid his bills and refused to give over his credit card information for the second time. When Lomeli uttered a phrase in Spanish discrediting the caller’s intentions, the caller hung up.

Lomeli, owner of the Antonio’s Barbershop in Patterson, said he received the calls at his place of work and fears other businesses or homeowners within the area may be targeted as well. He is currently warning the public to be cautious of these calls, and warns that the caller is believed to be a Hispanic male adult based on his accent.

Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or brooke@pattersonirrigator.com.

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