Local News

Progress Energy warns of thieves posing as workers

Posted August 28, 2008 11:06 a.m. EDT

— 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.