Police Log: Phone Scammer Gets $4K, Then Nearly $11K More

by | Feb 10, 2019

By Bethany J. Hashway

Thursday, Jan. 17

7:13 a.m. – A Spring Valley Drive resident told police he had been pushed in the back by the owner of a home heating company he’d hired to install a heating system. The resident said someone from the town had come to inspect the work, along with the owner of the company and one employee. The resident said he didn’t want the system inspected because the work wasn’t complete. It was after that, the resident said, that the owner pushed him and tried to take some papers away from him. Police spoke with the town official, who said he left before any aggression. The heating company owner and the employee said no assault had taken place.

Saturday, Jan. 19

1:30 a.m. – Police arrested a Pawtucket man, 27, for a bench warrant and driving with a revoked license after he allegedly crashed into some trees near the train overpass on Rocky Hollow Road. Police found the car running with airbags deployed. They found a man walking toward the playground on Crompton Avenue. He was disheveled and had pricker bush thorns in his face but said he’d gotten beat up and hadn’t been in an accident. Police spoke with the owner of the car, a North Kingstown woman, who said she’d given the Pawtucket man permission to use it. Routine checks on the man turned up the bench warrant. He was taken to the station for processing and told police he didn’t feel well, that maybe he’d gotten a concussion earlier. He admitted having taken some cocaine and Percocet as well as having several drinks. Rescue took him to Kent Hospital to be checked out.

1 p.m. – A Pine Glen Drive resident told police he’d lost $4,000 in a phone scam. On Friday, the man said, he got a call from someone who said they were “tech support” and that they owed him $299 from an overcharge for past business. They asked him for personal information, including about his bank account, allegedly so they could refund him. They took control of his computer then told him they’d deposited $4,299 in his account by accident. They told him to buy eight $500 gift cards to return the money to them, which he did, relaying the pertinent card info over the phone. Today, “tech support” called again, explaining they’d made another mistake, this time depositing $11,500 in his bank account by accident. He was instructed to buy 22 $500 gift cards this time, but when he went at Walmart to buy the cards, a store employee told him he was being scammed. The man closed his bank account and reported the incident to the police.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

8:21 a.m. – A man told police two still-boxed garage door opener motors were missing from his father’s rental property on Division Road. He said he’d left them there on Jan. 8 and returned this day to meet someone who was to install the motors. The house was empty of belongings; the last tenant had moved out the end of December. Police checked with the tenant to see if he had come back in January. That man said he had not and knew nothing about the missing motors.

4:30 p.m. – An East Greenwich woman told police someone she thought was with Bank of America fraud alert withdrew $2,902.37 from her bank account while she was on the phone with him. The man called her to verify purchases that had been made in Miami. The woman said she had not made the purchases. The caller asked her to confirm her account and told her to send him a new pin number for her account. When she realized she was missing the money, she contacted Bank of America. The phone number of the man who’d called was, apparently, a BofA number but the bank denied making the call.

5:40 p.m. – Police arrested an East Greenwich man, 22, for assault and battery and disorderly conduct after his grandfather called police asking for assistance. The grandfather said his grandson needed to go to the hospital. The grandson said he didn’t want to. His girlfriend told police the young man “flipped out” when asked about going to a rehab center. She said he’d flipped over a table and started yelling at her, then tackled her, grabbed her by the jaw and threw her onto a couch. When she tried to move away from him, he grabbed her again and threw her against the wall. Police noted red marks on her neck.

Wednesday, Jan. 23

12:45 p.m. – Police were called to Monroe Street for the report of damage to a mailbox. The reporting party told police that during a recent snowstorm he believes a truck plowed snow onto his mailbox causing the plastic base to snap and knock the mailbox off its base.


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