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St. Charles Restaurant Defrauded by Man Posing as ComEd Worker

St. Charles businesses, residents are served by city’s electric utility.

A man brazenly defrauded an East Side St. Charles restaurant after claiming to be a ComEd representative who would shut off power to the business during the noon hour Monday if it did not make good on an unpaid bill of $489.86.

The sub and pizza restaurant in the 2700 block of East Main Street called police about 1 p.m. Monday after making the payment and later realizing that the city of St. Charles is the utility that provides its electricity. St. Charles police said the incident remains under investigation.

Police said the incident began to unfold in the morning with a phone call to the restaurant from a man claiming to be a representative of Commonwealth Edison, which supplies electricity to many homes and businesses in the Chicago suburbs.

Identifying himself as Steve Johnson, the caller said the business owed $489.86 for electricity and that power to the business would be shut off at 12:15 p.m. for nonpayment. He instructed the victim purchase a Green Dot Money Pak card in the exact amount from an area Walgreens and then provide the card number for payment of the bill.

Not long afterward, the restaurant received a call from another male who said he was from ComEd and was headed to the business to shut off its power. The victim then obtained the money card. The man identifying himself as Steve Johnson then called back, and the victim gave him the number for the card and was told the shutoff order was being canceled.

Not long afterward, the victim began to suspect he had been scammed, since his electric service is from the city of St. Charles, which verified that his account was current. He then called police to report the incident.

The city of St. Charles advises residents and businesses that if an account is in disconnect status, the city does not take payments over the phone, online or through the use of Money Pak cards. Instead, the resident or business will receive a courtesy call by phone, but the payment would be accepted only at the office in the

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Ted Schnell January 16, 2013 at 08:24 PM
That may be true, Doug, but everyone blows it at some point. My guess is this person won't get taken in like this again. Tell me you've never made a mistake that someone with more experience might have considered foolish.
beckysensei January 16, 2013 at 08:42 PM
This is "breaking" for Geneva. Maybe not for the city of Chicago, but this is BIG NEWS for Geneva. I didn't find it inappropriately titled.
Michael Mak January 17, 2013 at 04:25 AM
I thought it was the right thing to do , to list it as a breaking news story. Never know , who this guy was going to hit next.
Anna Koehler January 17, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Hey Ted, I apppreciate all of your breaking news. If I dont think its important to me, I can just delete it. Not really wasting anyones time.
Ted Schnell January 17, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I wanted to thanks everyone -- Jeff, thanks for raising the point to begin with, and thank you beckysensei, Anna Koehler (howdy, howdy!), megan and Michael Mak for your responses.

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