Homeowners Beware: Dominion Warns of Fake Workers

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Another warning for homeowners as thieves take advantage of the warmer weather to take advantage of them.

There has been a rash of cases in recent weeks where potential thieves pose as utility workers to get inside someone’s home and steal money and valuables.

Thursday, Dominion East Ohio Gas officials said it appears they’re now targeting a neighborhood with active construction work, to appear less suspicious.

For several days, the streets and sidewalks around East 171st Street in the North Collinwood area of Cleveland have been torn up, while Dominion East Ohio crews install a new gas pipeline.

"We received reports from a Cleveland police officer who was providing traffic control at the site of a pipeline replacement project. Residents in the area complained about imposters, that is people purporting to be East Ohio employees, trying to get into customers' homes," said Dominion East Ohio spokesman Neil Durbin.

Neighbors said during the project, the street is filled with Dominion workers and it could be easy for a resident to get fooled.

"They're sitting in the car and you got a lot of people in uniform, walking up and down, so it would be hard to distinguish who, if they don't have an ID. So if you don't have your ID, it would be hard to distinguish because if you have the gas trucks out, you would probably believe that it was the gas company," said resident, Adrienne Nowling.

Gas company officials said if you have doubts about who is knocking at your door, ask to see identification.

"All of us Dominion East Ohio employees carry that card and we will happily produce that card to confirm our identity of employees of the company," Durbin said.

"I want to see some ID. Where's your truck and why are you here because I don't think they just make stops by your house and you're not there," said resident, Lisa Harris.

In this case, the company sent out notifications to residents that the pipeline replacement was about to start. Neighbor, Renard McMillian, said he let a worker inside his home Thursday.

"The appointment was scheduled. I was outside when he came up. He was talking to some of the co-workers. I came and let him in. He took the meters down. He was legitimate," McMillian said.

Durbin said he does not know exactly how many people complained, but said there were enough that Cleveland police felt the need to contact the company.

Officials are also trying to determine whether anyone actually lost money or valuables.

Gas company officials add, that if a resident doubts the credibility of a Dominion worker, or any utility company employee, contact the company’s customer service line.

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