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Madison Police squad car tight crop
STATE JOURNAL ARCHIVES

A scammer posing as an Alliant Energy employee tried to swindle a Far East Side church, but a church official didn't take the "you owe us money or we'll turn the juice off" bait.

Madison police said the scam was attempted on Door Creek Church, 6602 Dominion Drive.

"The caller told an employee at the church that technicians were on their way to disconnect electrical service and the power would be cut in 30 or 40 minutes, if the employee did not call Alliant's collection department immediately," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

The church employee did call the number given by the scammer, and she talked to a second scammer who insisted notices had been sent to the church, and the notices were ignored.

"The intended victim was told a $750 security deposit was needed after Alliant replaced the meters at the church," DeSpain said.

The church employee figured this was a ruse, since Alliant doesn't provide utilities to the church, and she was aware of no notices sent.

"To make sure there were no problems, she called the real Alliant Energy and was told this was a fraud attempt and Alliant would never ask for a security deposit on a meter," DeSpain said.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.