Last year, police in Pennsylvania busted a ring of scammers — including some former Comcast employees — who had talked nearly 6,000 people into paying upwards of $200 to permanently have their Comcast cable bills reduced. Now the man described as being “second in command” of the ring has entered a guilty plea.
The scheme worked like this: The scammers would approach Comcast customers, which in Philadelphia means just about anyone with a TV, and offer to reduce their cable bills permanently for anywhere between $150 to $200. That sales pitch alone would have probably netted them a few dozen victims, but because these people actually had some folks with access to the Comcast computer system, the people who paid the cash actually got their bills lowered.
Word apparently got around pretty quickly, and somewhere between 5,700 and 6,000 people signed up for the perma-discount during 2011 and 2012. That is, until someone goofed and tried to make this offer to a Comcast employee, causing the whole scheme to collapse.
Police ultimately arrested more than two dozen people in connection with the swindle, estimated to have cost Comcast $2.4 million. When police searched the house of the #2 man on the totem poll, they found a notebook containing a ledger with the names, numbers and dollar amounts of each of the customers who had paid for the deceitful discount. They also found $100,000 in cash in a silver attache case — the modern-day equivalent of the burlap sac with a huge “$” printed on the side.
He ultimately pleaded guilty to being associated with corrupt organizations, theft of services, unlawful use of a computer and engaging in criminal conspiracy.
Now, we don’t expect (or even want) anyone to feel bad for poor ol’ Comcast, but the prosecutor in charge of the case says that the cable company has ultimately passed that money on to customers.
“Essentially, all customers ended up having to pay more money to make up for the loss,” said the ADA.
Philadelphia man pleads guilty in $2.4 million Comcast cable swindling scheme [MontgomeryNews.com]