Millvale, Allegheny County police warn of scam artists

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Police in Allegheny County and Millvale are investigating an incident in which two men entered a home by pretending to be interested in the residents' electric rates.

Residents of a home in Millvale, a husband and wife in their 90s, called police Thursday to report that two men had removed several items from their home, the county said in a news release.

One of the men, a white male in his mid-30s of medium build wearing a blue polo shirt, asked about the residents' electric use and said if he could look at their microwave and other appliances he would assist them with their electric rates, the county said.

Police said he was "very aggressive" in gaining access to the residence.

The other man, only described as wearing a ball cap, likely entered the residence then to remove cash and other personal items, police said.

Police are warning that there may be other incidents involving similar scams elsewhere in the county.

Lt. Thomas Ianachione said people should call 911 if they are concerned they or their neighbor are the target of a scam.

"Definitely don't let anyone in your house," he said.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the county's General Investigations detectives at 412-473-1251.

Also today, Duquesne Light announced that several customers have been victims of phone or door-to-door scams.

Eighteen customers received calls saying that their service will be shut off if a payment is not made immediately. The callers also directed customers to buy prepaid credit cards to pay off the amount.

Some customers also reported people posing as utility workers knocking on their doors claiming to be “from the power company” then trying to get into to the home. The criminals often work in pairs, Duquesne Light said, with one person distracting the customer while the other steals money or valuables.

The utility said it neither calls customers on the day of a scheduled termination for non-payment nor asks customers to buy any type of prepaid cards.

Customers unsure of the legitimacy of any caller or door-knocker claiming to be from Duquesne Light can call 1-888-393-7100 to verify.

First Published May 30, 2014 2:40 PM

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