Bridgeport diner owner scammed out of $5,000 from men claiming to be United Illuminating representatives
BRIDGEPORT - The victim of a reported phone scam in Bridgeport says he paid more than $5,000 to callers claiming to be from United Illuminating.
The owner of the New Colony Diner, Leo Koutikas, says he paid the money to two callers who threatened to turn off his power.
Bridgeport police say they've never heard of a phone scam like this in which the callers had a lot of information about the victim's UI account.
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Koutikas received a call Wednesday from a United Illuminating representative he had been dealing with for years to discuss scheduling a payment. Thirty minutes later, Koutikas says he was contacted by an 800 number claiming to be a UI representative, and demanding close to $2,000 or his power would be shut off.
Following the caller's orders, Koutikas went to a nearby Walgreens Pharmacy to load a Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card and used it to pay the would-be bill. He says, shortly after, he received another call ordering another $3,300.
Koutikas says both callers had information on his account number, last three payments and his address.
Later that day, Koutikas spoke with his account representative, who told him he had been the victim of a scam.