Exterminator scam terminated before real damage done

Date Published: 
March 10, 2017

This scam is a real pest, for citizens and contractors.

Fenwick Island police recently encountered a new kind of scam involving pest control. In this scam, the perpetrator asks a pest control company to check for mice in what is supposedly a relative’s home. When the exterminator arrives at the victim’s house, they call the perpetrator back to set up payment.

But recently, the exterminator involved became suspicious when the mysterious caller started asking for the victim’s account information and Social Security number.

Luckily, the exterminator ended the call and contacted police before any sensitive information was released. Fenwick Island police traced the phone call to Seattle and then to a former Soviet republic, said Police Chief William “Bill” Boyden.

The exterminators themselves were not perpetrating the scam. They were just a third party. In this case, the exterminator’s employees were unhappy to be taken in by a scammer. However, they were proactive, Boyden said, and actually called the FIPD before arriving at the household. They felt the caller was fishy.

If anyone encounters a home contractor unexpectedly on their doorstep, “Just call us,” Boyden said. “Or tell them, ‘No thank you.’”

Because Delaware hasn’t encountered a scam like this before, Boyden suggested this may have been an isolated incident or test run for a new type of scam involving home services.