Fake utility workers canvassing Northeast Ohio neighborhoods for next victim

Utility companies are warning people to not let anyone into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment.

Police and utility companies are warning customers of home distraction scams

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - In multiple cases, thieves have posed as utility workers to distract homeowners and gain access to their Northeast Ohio residences.

The old scam is simple: while one so-called utility worker distracts the homeowners, a second crook will sneak into their house.

A case in Fairview Park this week involved thieves posing as water company workers who stole a jewelry box.

Also this week in Willoughby Hills, a couple let two fake Illuminating Company workers into their home, but they left empty handed after the residents grew suspicious.

And in Mayfield Heights on Tuesday, thieves stole cash as they posed as Illuminating Company employees.

Parma police posted a warning on Facebook to residents that there had been multiple cases recently in that suburb.

FirstEnergy spokesman Chris Eck is advising residents to be very suspicious if someone claiming to be a FirstEnergy employee wants access to your home.

“You’re not likely to get a visit at your house from an electric utility worker unless you have made an appointment for some reason,” Eck said.

Dominion Energy Ohio told 19 News that the company has received reports from area customers of individuals falsely claiming to be Dominion employees.

Dominion advises, “Never allow anyone in your house or apartment who claims to be a Dominion Energy representative unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem,”

And Cleveland Water told 19 News that water department employees may knock on your door to report the potential for service disruption if work is being done in the area but that you should not let anyone in your home unless you have a scheduled appointment.

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