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Progress Energy warns of thieves posing as workers

Posted August 28, 2008

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— Progress Energy has warned that scam artists are posing as utility workers and burglarizing houses, often targeting elderly homeowners.

Over several weeks, people claiming to work for Progress Energy or another, unidentified power company have asked to enter people's houses, company officials said. The scam artists claimed to be conducting an energy-efficiency inspection or performing other utility-related work.

Once inside a home, the purported utility worker distracted the homeowner, while a second person slipped into the house and stole valuables.

In other instances, the purported utility worker asked to homeowner to step outside to look at a meter or pole, and another person slipped into the house undetected.

Progress Energy officials said customers should not open their door for utility workers unless they can confirm the person’s identity. Its employees carry company badges with photographs, but ID badges, vehicle signs and clothing can be counterfeited.

Company officials said other than in emergencies, a Progress Energy representative would practically never show up at a customer’s home unannounced and ask to enter to perform work.

If a homeowner has any doubt about the identity of anyone claiming to be a Progress Energy employee, keep the door shut and locked and call the Progress Energy customer service center at 1-800-452-2777 to confirm the employee’s identity and need for entry.

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  • tracyr03 Aug 28, 2008

    this is disturbing... don't forget about METER READERS-there are still a lot of manually read meters out there-and we are in customers yards every single day. most of the time the homeowners don't know we are there. Utility Meter Service contracts to progress energy. Please be sure the person in your yard isn't merely checking your meter before you let your police dogs out on them. just the other day i knocked on the door and asked a customer to come outside to look at their meter-there was something wrong w/ it, and this customer used to work for progress. i had no idea thieves are out there posing as utility workers, and using this as a ploy to distract homeowners. Utility Meter Service readers where blue pants and a gray shirt. we drive white trucks w/ the "UMS" logo in blue and red. please be aware that meter readers are still out there working. there are also gas and water meter readers out and about. this is a dangerous situation for us. ~raleigh area meter reader

  • rtmus53 Aug 28, 2008

    not every customer; Landscaper - if you are employed by Progress, your electricity is fuh-ree!!

  • NCSULandscaper Aug 28, 2008

    Progress Energy is already robbing every customer they have, and they dont even have to go to your house.

  • superman Aug 28, 2008

    You remember the small business owner in Apex who gave the woman a check for about 300.00 for advertising? You dont really have to resort to stealing when people give their money away.

  • B1H Aug 28, 2008

    I'd like to see them get past my SIX dogs. I can barely get the UPS guy to throw a package near my front door.

  • PowderedToastMan Aug 28, 2008

    Criminals will spend the time to do this, but they won't spend the time to get a real job. Just something about honest pay for an honest day's work that scares these thugs.

  • twc Aug 28, 2008

    You should be able to recognize the thieves pretty easily. They'll be the ones that look like they're working. Or maybe the ones processing the monthly bills!!!!!

  • d1mike41 Aug 28, 2008

    i would let the police verify employment. if i didn't request service, noone should be showing up. i also like the fact of letting my dogs (police trained german shepherds) and my glock 22 answer the door.

  • pitbull0373 Aug 28, 2008

    They forgot to mention how they are already getting you with the light bill every month. Ha!

  • phil Aug 28, 2008

    come to my house ...please

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