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PHILADELPHIA -- A suburban Philadelphia prosecutor says nearly two dozen people took part in a $2.4 million swindle targeting cable giant Comcast.

Five men are in custody and authorities are seeking 18 more allegedly involved in the scheme to provide discounted rates and premium channels in return for one-time payments.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman says more than 5,000 customers took advantage of the scam to see their cable bills reduced.

Ferman says the ring's salespeople would approach people on the street or in other businesses and offer to give them discounts or premium channels for $150. She says the ring manipulated customer accounts through a computer at a subcontractor's office.

Officials say Comcast learned of the scheme when one of its employees was approached with an offer.