Thursday, January 18, 2007
Don't Be a Victim: Fake utility workers
A warning from police tonight after thieves posing as utility workers hit the street again. Seven's Tom Haynes has more on how to make sure you're not a Victim.
Frank Johnson: "If you haven't had a problem, and you haven't called to have some one come out to your house, that should be signal number one."
Officer Frank Jackson with the Coral Gables Police says utility companies don't send workers out unless they are called. Don't be fooled by an "official" looking uniform either.
Frank Jackson: "It's very common and very easy to do. They can order actual uniforms or T-shirts or hats."
You should plan ahead and keep numbers for utility companies handy.
Frank Jackson: "We suggest that you have a list readily available of all the services that you do have, 800 numbers or local numbers to call on your refrigerator."
That way, if someone shows up, you can get the person's name, lock your door and call. Don't call numbers they give you.
Frank Jackson: "They might say, 'Ma'am or sir, I understand you might be a little leery of me being here. However, if you call this number, they'll verify that I'm here, and it's legitimate.'"
That person is sitting down the street waiting for your call.
Finally, don't give any information about your schedule or when you will be home. If they start asking questions, this is the best way to get rid of them:
Frank Jackson: "Let me take your name and number. I'll call the company, and I will schedule an appointment to come back out. Now is not a good time for me."
And, of course, if you get someone at your door like this, call police right away. Even if they didn't outsmart you, your neighbor might not be so lucky.