New scam targets Co-op customers

PIMA — A Gila Valley man said his concern for his wife and daughter was what led him to be the victim of a telephone scam.

The man said he received a call from a woman who identified herself as “Ashley” from Graham County Electric Co-op, claiming the victim was nearly $400 in arrears on his electric bill and power was about to be disconnected.

Ashley and another man, who identified himself as “Shawn,” directed the man to pay via a Money Pack Green Dot pre-paid money card from Circle K. The victim said he was worried about his family being without power and agreed, but said could only pay half at the time.

The scammers agreed and the victim made the payment. Realizing a short time later it might have been a scam, the victim called back and “Ashley” agreed to meet the victim to return the money, but contact was not made.

The victim reported the scam to Graham County Sheriff’s Office, acknowledging he was unlikely to see the return of his money, but he hoped his reporting would help prevent others from being defrauded.

On its social media, the Co-op said it will never call its customers demanding credit card or banking information. Also do not click any links sent via text regarding supposed past-due amounts, as those did not originate from the Co-op.