Members of the Keystone Alliance to Stop Utility Impostors joined State Rep. Mike Regan (R-Dist. 92) on Monday at the Capitol Rotunda to unveil HR 341 and declare June 8-12 Utility Imposter Awareness Week in Pennsylvania.
Officials have been warning the public about a recent increase in incidents of imposters posing as utility workers, gaining access to people’s homes and committing robbery.
“Sadly, the number of incidents of imposters posing as legitimate utility workers is increasing, and House Resolution 341 calls attention to this reprehensible activity,” Rep. Regan said. “I support the Keystone Alliance and their efforts to help others from being victimized.”
The Keystone Alliance to Stop Utility Imposters revealed its media campaign to educate consumers with information and advice, including TV and radio public service announcements, as well as printed materials to circulate among customers.
“These criminals typically prey on seniors…but if homeowners know what to look for and how to protect themselves, we can not only prevent this crime, but also catch and prosecute these thieves to the fullest extent of the law,” David Freed, Cumberland County's district attorney, said.
Homeowners are urged to check company IDs before letting anyone into their homes. “It is extremely rare for a utility employee to show up…without an appointment,” Louise Knight, chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies, said. “If someone comes to your door claiming to be from the local utility, and you are not expecting them, do not let them inside without proper identification.”
The Keystone Alliance is a group of local utility providers working with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association to protect customers from utility-worker imposters.
“Take the time to examine the ID badge…Be safe, stay vigilant and if you have any suspicions about the individual’s identity, call 9-1-1 immediately,” Dane Merryman, executive director of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, said.