Progress Energy warns of imposters
Posted July 23, 2009 1:02 p.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2009 1:13 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.