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Police Warn of Scam Involving Fake Utility Workers

Duquesne Light and Columbia Gas are warning customers of phony solicitors asking for account numbers and other personal information.

Police Warn of Scam Involving Fake Utility Workers

Area police are warning residents to be careful when opening their doors to solicitors, even if those people are wearing official-looking clothing or logos.

In her post on the Pittsburgh Police Community Safety website Tuesday, Officer Janine Davis said she received an email from a Lawrenceville resident stating that people from a company called Just Energy were going door to door, asking to see residents' Duquesne Light electric bills.

Residents were told that their home address and Duquesne Light account number were needed to ensure that they received a rebate from the Duquesne Light company, according to the report on the community safety website.

She indicated in her post that similar incidents could be happening in other local neighborhoods. Residents in and Mt. Lebanon also have complained of the issue.

Joseph Vallarian, Manager of Media and Community Relations for Duquesne Light, said the people going door to door are in no way affiliated with Duquesne Light.

"We are not affiliated with any other company," Vallarian said. "We do not go door to door. Duquesne Light does not do telemarketing."

Vallarian said that Duquesne Light is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any other company contacting residents in regard to their electric bill. Additionally, he said that Duquesne Light does not share customers' phone numbers or account information with other companies. Should a Duquesne Light employee be called to a customer's home, all Duquesne Light employees carry photo identification issued by the company, he said.

Columbia Gas is also  warning its customers of an "Obama Energy Credit" scam. Callers attempt to elicit personal information and account numbers through a bogus offer, but the company says there is no such “energy credit” available and customers are advised to be wary of anyone claiming to represent a utility company asking for personal information and account numbers.

Pittsburgh police posted the following tips on the community safety website for dealing with door-to-door solicitors:

  • Do not open your door for unsolicited services.
  • If they look official, ask for identification.
  • Do not allow them into you home for no reason.
  • If you have any concerns call 911.

This story originally appeared on Dormont-Brookline Patch

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