Fake utility worker scam busted by great-grandmother

May 5, 2010 8:46:32 PM PDT
A savvy great-grandmother helps police break up a scam involving fake utility workers in Queens. Caroline Tesoriero loves spending time in her kitchen.

That's where the 78-year-old was when she got a strange phone call Tuesday morning.

"They said they wanted to come and check my carbon monoxide because it's United States law that it has to be working," said Caroline.

The woman on the other line told the great-grandmother that she was from Key Span Gas Company.

But, when Caroline hung up she thought "wait a minute, I'm with National Grid!"

So, she made three phone calls from her South Ozone Park home: First, to the utility company, then, the police, and finally, to her family. "I couldn't understand why they would do something like that. I think they prey on old people," said Joanna Tesoriero, the victim's daughter Police set up a stake out and let the scam play itself out, with Caroline safe inside her home.

As soon as the men showed up, they put them in handcuffs.

"I was so nervous I almost had a heart attack when I see them at the front of the house," said Caroline, "The service was unbelievable to me. I really appreciate the police department. They were really good to me."

Caroline agreed to do an interview with Eyewitness News because she says she knows the importance of warning others about this scam.

"I hope it don't happen to other people what happened to me. I'm old and I was very upset and I live alone," explained Caroline, "I was very lucky nothing happened to me."