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Con artist tells Reading couple to pay money or lose electricity

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 20 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 22 2013 07:37:22 AM CDT

State officials are asking electricity customers to be on alert for con artists.

READING, Pa. -

State officials are asking electricity customers to be on alert for con artists.

They say there has been a rash of scams going on over the past few days.

Magdalena Alicea, and her husband Juan, from Reading, are still feeling the effects of phone call from a con artist on Wednesday.

"He told us that we have 45 minutes to go to a CVS and put $60 on a debit card, and if we didn't do it, he would shut off our electricity," explained Magdalena in Spanish.

Magdalena says she was so frightening by the call she had to wear an ice pack on her shoulder for several hours, and now has trouble lifting her arm, the same arm that was affected by a stroke she suffered previously.

"I got nervous," said Juan in Spanish. "It's cold outside."

Juan explained that the con man threatened to show up at his house in the 1100 block of Spring Street to shut off the electricity if they didn't follow his demands.

Juan and Magdalena reported the incident to police to Thursday.

Met-Ed officials say they are aware of the scams.

"If you're concerned, if you have a question, feel free to call us, and find out if we're working in the area," said Scott Surgeoner, spokesman for Met-Ed.

Met-Ed officials say they never call customers to tell them their electricity is about to be shut off.

Officials say there is always a 10-day notice posted on the door of the residence, and then an additional notice posted 48 hours prior to shut off.