Thursday, December 10, 2015

Utility Scam Reported in Bergen County-Be Alert!

Be Alert of individuals posing as Utility Workers/Solicitors
(Information received from the Hasbrouck Heights PD)

Utility Workers Burglary Scam

With the Holiday Season upon us, several scams are surfacing around the area.  Individuals posing as Utility Workers (Water Company, Gas Company, etc.) are approaching residences throughout Bergen County requesting access to the house to check a problem. 

This should be a RED FLAG to any homeowner. 

Upon completion of "Checking the problem", the homeowner discovers items missing from the residence.  If this occurs, ask to see ID and contact the Police or the Utility Company to confirm a problem in the area. 

In addition, be aware of a "team" of the so-called Utility Workers.  They split-up with one asking you numerous questions to keep you occupied, while the others attempt to gain access from another entry point.  If something seems suspicious, contact the Police. 

Know these 3 things:

1.  Utility workers won’t come to your home to request access without scheduling an appointment ahead of time. 
2.  Utility workers won’t threaten you with fines or incarceration if you decline their work.  These types of burglars normally target the elderly because they’re easier to intimidate. 
3.  Tell your senior loved ones that if random utility workers come to your home and make threats, call the police for help. 

Typically, the burglars will imitate a power company (electrical or water) city worker by wearing:  hard hats, work gloves, colored vests, and a city logo or badge.  When they come to your door, they say they need to get into your property for utility-related reasons.  Once on your doorstep, they will tell you there’s a utility emergency they need to inspect. 

Fake utility workers usually work in groups.  One will keep your attention while the other grabs your jewelry and money.  While one burglar distracts the homeowner, another burglar sneaks in and takes what they can.

Please be alert if you are unsure call the Police Department for assistance at 201-387-4000.

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