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Hingham, MA - A Hingham restaurant reported a familiar scam attempt by phone. The manager recognized it as a scam and did not send any money. Earlier this year, two other Hingham restaurants fell victim to similar scams and sent money.
Restaurants, many of which are busier than usual during this holiday season, may become likely to be fall victim or targeted during this time. Many of these details in this scam may be changed but sharing them may help others to recognize future scams.
In this incident, the North Hingham restaurant received a call at noon on Saturday December 3, 2016 from a man claiming to be from “Financial Department for Electricity Services”. The caller ID listed as area code 617. The caller threatened to shut off the power to the restaurant within 30 minutes if the outstanding balance of $998.83 plus a processing fee of $4.95 was not paid immediately.
The caller instructed the manager to bring the money in cash to the CVS located on Lincoln St. (Route 3A) and to call the number back from their cell phone on the way. The caller said they would provide them with more specific instructions then. The manager told the caller they were calling the police and hung up.
Of note is this scam call was made at a peak time on a weekend and the caller told them to go to a CVS that was further away from the restaurant. A closer CVS, located on South St. in Hingham Square, was where one of the restaurant victims earlier this year wired money from. It is possible the scammers were aware of that (from simple internet search) and feared employees may be more aware of such a scam. Both CVS stores now have warning signs posted from the Hingham Police warning of such scams.