By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Gas Works is warning customers to beware of scammers showing up on their doorsteps.
Barry O’Sullivan, director of corporate communications with PGW, says it’s rare a utility worker will show up are your doorstep without an appointment. However, some scam artists may be convincing in light of the recent snow.
“They might have taken advantage of that,” he says, “and they might have sought to gain access to people under the guise of making sure that they’re paying the right rate or under the guise of making sure that their systems are working correctly.”
O’Sullivan says some will say anything to convince homeowners to let them in.
“They try to focus on trying to find a topical reason to be in front of your house,” he says, “that they think will help you convince them to let you in and they are who they claim to be.”
In most cases, O’Sullivan says, it seems that the goal of the imposters is burglary. He says never let anyone into your home unless you are sure of who they are.
“Our ID cards, for instance, at Philadelphia Gas Works,” he says, “they have the employee’s name, they have a photograph of that employee and they have a badge number.”
O’Sullivan says if you don’t have a scheduled appointment, call 911. And if a utility worker is rude to you for refusing entry, that’s a huge red flag.
“Even if you have a bona-fide Philadelphia Gas Works employee standing there, you verify their information,” he says, “and if you are still not comfortable letting them in, the worst thing that’s going to happen is that we’re going to try to reschedule that appointment with you.”