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4 gain access to Derry-area home after 1 falsely claims to work for Area Agency on Aging

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, 12:01 a.m.

Warnings of a scheme that targets the elderly were issued Tuesday because a group of people deemed “suspicious” gained entry to a Westmoreland County resident's home.

Area Agency on Aging Program Administrator Dirk Matson issued the alert because of an incident that took place in the past week in the Derry area. Four people gained entry to a home when one falsely identified herself as an Agency on Aging employee looking for housing for a senior citizen, Matson said in a release.

One of the people told the resident that they were aware of an extra bedroom in the home and inquired about rental possibilities. The group left after touring the home, and although nothing was reported taken by the group, the actions were “highly suspicious,” Matson said.

Matson cited privacy reasons for not identifying the homeowner targeted by the group. Police reports about the incident were not available Tuesday.

“It's frightening to think what could have happened that day,” Matson said.

Matson noted that no agency representative will visit a home without first making an appointment and displaying a county identification card when they arrive.

Matson, who has been with the agency for 1 12 years, said he was unaware of similar incidents during his tenure. But he warned residents to be cautious and alert for scams whenever contacted through email, phone, or in person by people they don't know.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation,” he said about the Derry area incident.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or

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