BROOKS: Mr. Scambuster

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First, Bill Brooks, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your column. I LOVE that you let us know about all the bad dudes out there who are trying to scam people.

Recently, “Nicole Baker from Avista” called our medical office alerting us that our power was going to be shut off in two hours unless we made a payment STAT. Of course, our office manager was alarmed and proceeded to follow directions for making a cash payment of $645.15, plus two additional fees of $5.95 each. As we don’t keep that much cash in our office, she went to her own bank and withdrew her own money and took it to Walgreens. (She is an incredibly loyal employee!) She called to tell me what she was doing right before she purchased a MoneyPak (green card). I immediately told her to stop as I knew we were not delinquent on our account. It sounded fishy. I quickly googled “Avista Scam” and learned that it, indeed, was a scam. I then learned that you had warned our community of this in the past.

Fortunately, we averted the scam! I just listened to the call you recorded and it was the same people. Your response to them was brilliant. Keep up the good work! Thank you so much for your dedication to this community!

JAN STURGES

Coeur d’Alene

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