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posted: 10/18/2013 5:11 PM

Phone scammers target Palatine businesses

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Palatine police on Friday issued a warning about a phone money card scam that is targeting local businesses.

Police say a local business owner received a call Tuesday from someone purporting to be from ComEd who said he was past due on a payment and his electricity would be shut off.

The business owner was told to send a $1,000 payment from a MoneyPak card. The man purchased the card and provided the caller with the card number, according to police.

The victim later came to police to report that he had been the target of a scam.

Authorities said there have been several more business owners targeted through "similar MoneyPak card ruses" in which someone is falsely representing himself or herself as a service provider.

"We encourage our residents and business owners to be skeptical of anyone who makes threats or demands any payment over the phone via MoneyPak, particularly if they contacted you," police said in a news release.

Police said residents or business owners who receive calls from anyone claiming to be from a service provider should confirm by contacting the service provider directly.

Any possible fraudulent schemes should be reported to 911, police said.

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