WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Following a report of an attempted scam, Waterbury residents are being warned not to allow people posing as Water Department employees into their homes.
According to a warning issued by the office of Mayor Neil O’Leary, the city’s Bureau of Water received a report of an individual attempting to gain access into a home by claiming that the homeowner owed money for their water bill, and that the water would be shut off if they did not pay immediately. Waterbury Police have been notified of this incident. The warning states:
“City employees do not collect water bills in the field and do not conduct cash transaction’s at a customer’s home or business. We advise homeowners not to allow anyone into their home who claims to be from the Water Department unless they provide valid Water Department identification. Our employees carry Water Department IDs and drive vehicles marked with the City of Waterbury logo and with municipal license plates.”
The letter from Waterbury’s Mayor’s office encourages residents to pass on this warning to their elderly neighbors. If there are concerns about verifying anyone identifying as a utility employee, call the city’s customer service telephone number at (203) 574-8251.
This issue is not isolated to Waterbury. Elsewhere in the state, residents have been swindled by individuals claiming to be utility employees. Saturday, an elderly man in Norwalk was told by a man that he was with the Water Department, responding to a leak complaint in the homeowner’s basement. The individual, described as a white male in his early thirties, thin and 6’0″, gained access into the man’s home. Distracting him with what he assured the homeowner were necessary repairs, he communicated with his accomplice by cell phone, who entered through the basement and burgled the man.
Norwalk police have since issued a similar warning to Waterbury’s, assuring residents that Water Company officials conduct visits by appointment only.