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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Area woman scammed by fake satellite worker

An area woman is out about $200, as a result of scam involving man posing as a satellite employee.

The man called an elderly woman to tell her that her old satellite box was becoming outdated and she needed an upgrade.

“He said I needed to upgrade to ‘the hopper’ and if I didn’t, I would not be able to get my shows on TV,” the woman said. “I told him I’m a senior citizen and I couldn’t afford to pay $250 (the price he quoted) for that box.

“He then said, we have a promotion we can offer. You would get $40 off your bill every month for 20 months.”

The woman said she received at least five phone calls from the man before she finally said “yes.”

The man told her this transaction would likely trigger a call from the credit card company and that she needed to assure the credit card company that this was a legitimate purchase, which she did (because she felt it was something she wanted).

The box actually was sent to the woman’s home. The woman had a representative of the satellite company stop at her house and was told that the box looked exactly like the old one. He added that she would have been charged $100 by the company for a box like that.
Later, when it was clear she wasn’t receiving the $40 discount the caller had promised, the woman called the satellite company.

After a brief discussion, the woman was told she had been scammed. The company had no record anywhere of any call to the woman, or any type of correspondence.

In addition, the company representative suggested that she deactivate her credit card.
“Actually, I had already cancelled the card by that time,” the woman aid. “Earlier (after buying the box, but before calling the credit card company) I dropped the card at a gas station, so I cancelled the card.”

That may have been a blessing because the scammer was unable to make further charges on the card.

“One other thing the person at the credit card company told me was, ‘We would never call you to upgrade to a hopper. If you would happen to want to do an upgrade, that’s fine, but we don’t call the customer. The customer has to call us.”

Through it all, the woman lost about $200 on a credit card charge that came out of New York. She also learned a valuable lesson — be very careful about offers that come out of the blue, seeking payment for goods or services.

Share your scam story
Local law enforcement is concerned about the impact of scams on area residents, particularly the elderly.

Consequently, this newspaper works with local police and sheriff’s departments to keep residents updated on common schemes. Scam Alerts will appear in future editions as often as possible in the coming weeks.

Readers can also find online scam updates Tuesdays at windomnews.com.

If you have been the target of a scam, your first contact should be local authorities. Also, feel free to contact us with details (we can keep your name confidential).

Send your story to: rahnl@windomnews.com, or call 507-831-3455. By sharing, you could prevent someone from being scammed.

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