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North Hills

Northern Regional Police alert residents to robbery scam

| Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, 4:57 p.m.

Thieves are using a hoax in which they claim to be utility workers to gain access to people's homes in order to rob them, the Northern Regional Police Department is cautioning residents.

The police issued a warning via the Savvy Citizen app to make citizens aware of recent county-wide reports of people posing as utility workers, knocking on doors and asking for access to the basement or the back of the house in order to do work. Once the homeowner escorts the supposed worker away, a second individual will enter through the same door and steal valuables.

“As a general rule, utility workers should not be randomly coming to your residence to do interior work without a scheduled appointment,” the alert read. “Utility workers should have proper identification as well as a company vehicle parked in close proximity. Any legitimate utility worker would not have any issue with you calling 911 and having a police officer verify their credentials. Please call 911 immediately if you are presented with this circumstance.”

Duquesne Light has a scam avoidance page on its website on which the company advises that the vast majority of its work is external, and that any time an employee needs to work inside the home it would be scheduled in advance. Duquesne Light employees also wear company identification badges and generally travel in vehicles marked with the company logo.

Anyone with suspicions should ask for ID and/or call Duquesne Light at 888-393-7100 to verify an employee's identity, and call local police if they suspect a scam, the page advises.

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