Tuesday, October 10, 2017

State Police Warn of Diversion Thefts and Imposter Fraud

The Pennsylvania State Police issued a Community Awareness Bulletin on Diversion Thefts and Imposter fraud.

Police say in this scam, criminals approach and distract a homeowner, luring them toward a particular room of the house with ploys such as feigning illness, asking for a drink of water, saying that they are looking for a lost pet, etc.

They may also pose as a repairman from the local power company or water department in an effort to gain access to the victim's house or lure the victim out of the house.

They may present an identification badge, or may be wearing what appears to be a work uniform, and convince the victim that they need to test the water pressure, electricity, or determine where the property line is.

The scammers then advise the victim that company regulations do not allow them to be on the property or in the house unaccompanied.  Their purpose is to distract the victim while unseen accomplices enter the residence and steal valuables, such as jewelry and cash .

Prevention Tips:

  • Always lock your doors when doing yard work, getting mail, or anytime you go outside - both front and back doors.
  • Be careful with whom you let in your home.  Never allow strangers inside your home, even if they appear to be in distress or with a young child.
  • Check with your utility company by telephone if an employee wants to enter your home, or wants you to come outside with them.  If you do not see any identification or company credentials, ask for it; however, keep in mind some of these criminals have become skillful at making their own identification cards.  Do not hesitate to check each individuals identification and verify information with their respective company.
  • Write down the license plate number of any vehicles that suspicious individuals may be operating.  Try to obtain a good physical description of anyone who comes to your door.
  • CALL THE POLICE TO REPORT THE INCIDENT IMMEDIATELY!  Never be to embarrassed to report that you may have been victimized or swindled.