The Aurora Police Department is investigating two incidents where businesses were tricked into making payments with Green Dot MoneyPak pre-paid cards to fake ComEd employees.
Both incidents followed the same thread where people pretending to be ComEd employees called the businesses and told them they owed thousands of dollars, according to a news release. The impersonators said their power would be turned off unless they paid them, and that they wanted them to pay up through the Green Dot cards.
The victims were directed to stores where the cards are sold, and then instructed to read the card numbers out over the phone, according to the news release.
The two targeted businesses were a Near East side restaurant and a Far East side floral shop. The loss incurred totaled more than $5,000.
With Green Dot MoneyPak cards, money removed cannot be given back to victims, according to the news release.
Aurora police reported they have also gotten calls from other businesses detailing the same kind of incident, but these businesses did not fall victim to the scheme.
In a separate incident, according to the news release, a man lost more than $1,000 after someone pretending to be a government employee contacted him and told him his credit qualified him for a grant worth more than $10,000.
He was told he had to pay a fee using Green Dot MoneyPak cards to get the award, and three transactions occurred in this incident.