Scam artists targeting homeowners

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Utility officials and police sent two separate warnings to residents today telling them to be on the lookout for people impersonating workers.

After a burglary Monday in Morningside, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is warning residents to beware of an imposter posing as an employee.

Authority field workers wear uniforms and carry authority-issued photo identification, and they drive marked trucks with municipal license plates. Authority contractors also carry photo ID.

To verify an authority worker's identify, residents may call (412) 255-2429 or (412) 255-2409

Police Cmdr. Timothy O'Connor of Zone 5 said an elderly resident let a man into her home Monday morning after he identified himself as "an employee of a water company." The man found no problem inside the woman's home, Cmdr. O'Connor said, but she later discovered that property had been stolen.

The suspect is white, in his 20s, about 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Zone 5 at 412-665-3605 or the burglary squad at 412-323-7155.

Also today, officers in the city's Zone 2 station based in the Hill District sent out a warning that somebody claiming to be from "Just Energy" had stopped at a home in Lawrenceville and asked to see the resident's Duquesne Light electric bill under the ruse that the resident would get a rebate check.

"As a current customer of Duquesne Light (or any other utility company for that matter) they already have your account number and address for whatever purposes they deem fit," Officer Janine Davis wrote in a community email alert.

Police reminded people not to open their doors for unsolicited service calls, to ask for employee identification, to avoid inviting strangers into their homes without reason and to call 911 if they are concerned. neigh_city - breaking - region


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