You hear about it all too often in the news: An unsuspecting homeowner victimized by thieves posing as utility company workers to gain entry and rob the house. You can prevent utility imposters from targeting you by taking precautions to protect yourself.
Individuals claiming to represent the “water company” or another utility will approach the resident and use a variety of excuses to enter the home. For example, they are supposedly investigating a “dirty water” complaint by a neighbor or checking water pressure due to a main break nearby. Once inside the home, the imposters typically divert the resident’s attention by sending him/her to the basement or kitchen to run a faucet while they or an accomplice robs another area of the home.
First, it is extremely rare for water company personnel to show up at a customer’s home without an appointment. However, if a utility worker comes to your door and you are not expecting them, DO NOT let them inside without proper identification. All Pennsylvania American Water service personnel wear uniforms, drive company-branded vehicles and wear photo ID badges with the company’s logo. (IMPORTANT: Company employees will never ask for nor accept payment at a customer’s home or business.)
Don’t be afraid to ask for photo ID, and take the time to examine the ID badge whenever someone from a utility company arrives at your home. If you are still unsure and have any suspicions about the individual’s identity, call 9-1-1 immediately. Also, you can contact Pennsylvania American Water’s customer service center (800-565-7292) to check if the service visit is legitimate.
Please share this advice with family and friends, particularly seniors who often fall prey to these thieves.
Pennsylvania American Water is committed to safety for its customers and employees. Be vigilant, and don’t get fooled by utility imposters!