PEORIA — In two separate instances, scammers tried to fleece a pair of Peorians via Google Play gift cards.
One scheme worked; the other failed.
On Thursday, a 71-year-old North Peoria man said he had been phoned Monday by someone claiming to be with Comcast customer service, according to a Peoria police report. He was told his computer had been “compromised,” the report said. The fake rep told him that he would need to buy Google Play gift cards and send the codes to pay for security upgrades, the report stated.
The next day, the same person called and said further security upgrades would be needed. So the 71-year-old bought more gift cards and sent the codes, the report said. All told, he bought $3,500 worth of gift cards and provided the codes to the caller.
On Thursday, growing suspicious, he contacted Comcast, which said the caller did not work for the company. He then called police.
The same day, a 33-year-old South Peoria man told police he had received an email purportedly from his boss requesting that he buy Google Play gift cards, according to another police report. Per the email, he bought three cards worth $200 each, then was told by email to send card codes electronically. At that point, he got suspicious and called police.
The cards were not used. The man said he will seek a refund from Google.