ALERT: Suburban police warn about fake water dept. workers

Posted: Updated: April 16, 2014 10:37 PM

A 19 Action News alert tonight.

Crooks are posing as water department employees to get into your home and now police are warning the suspects are targeting the suburbs.

Police say the scammers are telling residents they need to check for leaks or water damage.

"They say they have to come in or they're going to shut the water off. And the residents feel intimidated and sometimes they let them in," said Lt. Scott Suydam, Mayfield Heights Police.

One Mayfield Heights woman did let a worker in her home.

She got suspicious when the man said she had water damage even though she had just gotten her basement waterproofed.

"The water department has distinctive badges and uniforms and you didn't ask them to be there -- they're not going to come unannounced usually," added Lt. Scott Suydam.

In these cases, the people didn't have ID and they didn't have a water department marked car.

"Stranger's at your door. Don't answer your door. Call us instead," Lt. Scott Suydam said.

Mayfield Heights Police are using an automated phone calling system to alert residents. There are reports of similar incidents in Willoughby and Wickliffe.

"A lot of times they work in tandem to when they're down in the basement, they have an accomplice upstairs, ransacking your home," said Lt. Scott Suydam.

Police say the woman in Mayfield Heights who let the phony worker in was lucky.

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