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Progress Energy warns of imposters

Posted July 23, 2009

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— Progress Energy on Thursday warned customers and other residents of thieves posing as utility workers after a Raleigh couple was robbed this week.

"Progress Energy encourages customers and others not to open their door for utility workers unless they can confirm the person’s identity," the utility company's spokesman, Mike Hughes, said in a news release.

Citing police reports, Hughes said two men dressed in orange and white and claiming to work for "the power company" went to a Raleigh home Tuesday and told the occupants that they needed to turn off power to the house to work on damaged electrical facilities outside.

Once inside, one of the men distracted the couple while the other stole from them.

Police have received reports of similar incidents on previous occasions, Hughes said, including reports where the supposed workers ask residents to step outside their homes to look at a meter or a pole.

"Other than in emergencies or safety-related issues, there are practically no instances when a representative of Progress Energy would show up at a customer's home unannounced and ask to enter to perform work," Hughes said.

The utility's employees carry ID badges, but Hughes said that since they, as well as vehicle signs and clothing, can be fabricated to look authentic, they are not sufficient to assure a person's identity.

Residents in doubt should call the utility being represented to verify an employee's identity, Hughes said. Progress Energy's customer service number is 800-452-2777.

13 Comments

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  • elmer Jul 23, 2009

    progress energy goes up to the meter in most cases, but some of their meters may be located in basements or inside a garage that has been inclosed. If they have to disconnect your power for some reason, the meter would be the place to do it because it is the easiest place, they can disconnect at the pole or pedistal or underground transformer, the u/g pedistal or the u/g transformer they may have to disconnect other people at the same time this would make alot of people kinda mad. Most of the people with progress are good people and would let you know why they are there and what they are doing. The artical did not say it was progress energy personel that was doing this. Most cases they would not enter your home unless the meter was inside.

  • tracyr03 Jul 23, 2009

    by the way(Bruce, and anyone who thinks the same), more often that not if someone's power is disconnected, it's done AT THE METER(in the yard)...and if you have a Time Of Use meter, someone is coming in your yard at around the same time every month to read your meter.

  • tracyr03 Jul 23, 2009

    And again, Progress makes no mention of the meter readers who are out there in customers' yards(yes, some meters are still manually read)every single day. We have Utility Meter Service/Progress Energy IDs and vehicles. Electric meter readers will be wearing blue and gray. Please don't shoot or let your dogs out on us if you see us in the yard. I love how 'IDs and uniforms can be fabricated and aren't sufficient to prove identity". Terrible that people are doing this, but there ARE legitimate utility workers out there all the time without the homeowners knowing that we are there.

  • runny29840 Jul 23, 2009

    They can turn off your power from the pole or , if underground, from the curb side box. There is no reason for them to come into your home or even on your property.

  • working for deadbeats Jul 23, 2009

    My Benelli 12ga will do the job also.

  • Cleo Jul 23, 2009

    I have a long barrel Smith and Wesson that will take care of them should they try to enter my home!

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jul 23, 2009

    "Trust but verify" should be everyone's motto. If anyone shows up and you are not expecting that person, call the company in question to determine the person arriving is for real. You are the only one who can do this, no one else.

    This goes for Internet stuff, like if you receive e-mails from your bank. Call the bank separately (not from the phone number on the e-mail) to determine if the e-mail was for real.

  • canes7 Jul 23, 2009

    I fProgress Energy comes to my house I'll know something is way out of whack as I have Duke Power...

  • SaveEnergyMan Jul 23, 2009

    It's my understanding that Progress Energy is generally only responsible for up to the meter - which is located OUTSIDE. From the meter inside is your responsibility - which means you pay the electrician if there is a problem. They really have no reason to enter your house, since they can turn off the power at the meter. Be careful!

  • B1H Jul 23, 2009

    Why would you let someone in your house if you didn't schedule an appt. with them anyway?

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