Beware: Scammers getting busy

KINGMAN – The Arizona Corporation Commission is warning residents to be on the alert for home repair scams claiming to be connected to the ACC.

It’s a scam going on around the nation to convince people to buy into a home repair plan. The callers claim to work for the ACC.

Arizona Corporation Commission first heard about the scam in October when residents in New Hampshire and Massachusetts were contacted about charging $1,300 on their credit card to receive a grant for home repairs.

Those callers claimed to be working through the Arizona Corporation Commission and used different names including Naomi Brooks, Mackenzie Brooks and Kevin Martin.

The most recent victim was in Pennsylvania, where a woman was contacted by someone who identified himself as Greg Hanson and told her she qualified for $72,000 in grant money, and would need to spend $2,160 to process the paperwork and secure the grant.

Later she was contacted by a Jonathan Mills who said she qualified for $147,800, and asked for $15,000 in processing fees.

At that point, the woman said “no” and asked for her original investment back, which was not returned.

“It is unclear if the two scams are connected,” ACC spokeswoman Angie Holdsworth said. “There is an ongoing investigation into those prior cases.”

The Arizona Corporation Commission does not provide home repair grants and does not endorse any solicitations, she added.

If you receive a call like this in Arizona, contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office at (800) 352-8431, or file a complaint online at the AG’s website at wwww.azag.gov.

And like a Borg cube being attacked by a Federation starship, the scammers adapt quickly.

The latest scam involved an unidentifiable company that calls people telling them they’ve won a drawing for a prize of $125,000 and a Mercedes Benz for paying their utility bills (no utility specified by the alleged scammer) on time. All the victim would have to do is send in a $299 shipping and handling payment to claim the prize.

Kingman resident Karen Holmes received such a call recently. After the caller gave her conflicting information on where to pick up the prize (Virginia or Las Vegas), she sensed a fraud and quickly informed The Miner to spread the word.

This is only one in numerous scams that pop up every year.

Kingman Police Deputy Chief Rusty Cooper said if anyone calls you unsolicited with offers that sound too good to be true, it’s usually not true.

“I encourage people to either hang up, block the number or both,” he said.

The scams are often difficult for law enforcement agencies to investigate since they often originate from foreign countries, mainly Canada.

If someone does fall prey, they should file a report with the KPD.

“It’s still hard to investigate, but at least it’s documented,” Cooper said. “Prevention is the best cure. Just hang up.”

To report being victimized by a scam, contact the Kingman Police Department at 928-753-2191.