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Possible Utility Fraud in Ottawa County

UNDATED (WHTC) -- The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fraud that happened on Tuesday.  The victim owns an Asian restaurant in Holland Township on James St.  Lieutenant Mark Bennett describes what happened.  The man received a phone call from a man who identified himself as from the electric company.  The suspect told the victim that he owed a large amount of money and that his power would be shut off if he didn't pay.  The victim was instructed to purchase money cards from a local retailer and load them with money.  In the next phone call he was asked for the pin numbers of the cards and the money was transferred..After the victim did as he was instructed, he contacted the Holland BPW who supplies his electricity and was told there was no money owing. Upon investigation, it was found that this type of fraud has been tried a few times during the past few months. Investigators are following leads from this most recent case and will likely be led to out-of-state suspects. Anyone with information should contact SILENT OBSERVER.

Story by:  Diane E Coston