News & Important Notes

April 19, 2019
Good Morning Village of Monroe Residents,

Please take a moment to read through the message below from Orange & Rockland Utilities regarding a recent phone scam to one of its customers.

Off-Duty O&R Employee Thwarts Attempted Telephone Scam Robbery

PEARL RIVER, NY April 16, 2019 --- When Shoko Saito stopped by Walgreens in New City Saturday (April 6) to buy a bottle of shampoo, the last thing on her mind was that crooks were sending O&R customers to the same store to buy pre-paid debit cards to pay their bills.

Saito, a senior specialist in O&R's Corporate Affairs Department, was in line at the check-out counter when Raymond Ahmadi rushed into the store with his cell phone on speaker. Ahmadi was looking for something and Saito overheard his caller directing Ahmadi to do something about a gift card.

Ahmadi approached the store cashier and asked him where the gift cards were located. Ahmadi said he was in a hurry because O&R was on the other end of the phone. He said O&R was telling him he must pay $500 for his smart meter installation with a prepaid debit card immediately or his electric service would be shut off.

Ahmadi, in a subsequent interview said, "I almost had a heart attack when he (the crook) called. I run a car wash, and if I have no electricity, I have no business. No customers."

He added, "The weather was perfect that Saturday for washing your car so if my power was cut off, I'd lose a lot of money."

Saito heard the words "debit card" and sprang into action. She intervened, knowing that O&R does not accept prepaid debit cards for customer bill payment. She told Ahmadi she worked for O&R, and that the caller was trying to steal Ahmadi's money.

She urged him in the strongest possible terms to hang up the phone immediately and he did.
Read full letter

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