‘So freaking scary’: Police warn of fake utility workers entering homes

Police believe the impostors are specifically pretending to be with Duke Energy or Cincinnati Bell

Police warn about fake energy workers

HAMILTON, Ohio (FOX19) - Police are warning residents in Butler County fake utility workers have been circulating through neighborhoods, and in some cases, have even tried to break into homes.

Residents in several communities, including the village of New Miami, have reported similar incidents.

A woman, who does not want to be identified for her own safety, said a man pretending to be a utility worker showed up at her door on Wednesday afternoon.

She said she had only been home for five minutes when she realized the man was actually attempting to get inside her house.

“I didn’t even hear him knock," the neighbor said. "All I heard was the door open. Very, very concerning.”

The resident said she confronted the man and he claimed he was with a local utility company, though she could not see his badge or any legitimate identification.

“If my dog didn’t bark, he could’ve came in my house. I would’ve never known. I would’ve never known. It is so freaking scary," the resident said.

New Miami police said it is not the first time it has happened. They are investigating multiple reports.

Two people told FOX19 off camera that similar incidents occurred at their homes. One resident said that a strange man, claiming to be an energy employee, came to his home on Tuesday. The resident described the man as very aggressive and said he even tried to forcefully open the front door.

“I would tell people to lock your doors no matter what. I don’t care if you’re in your backyard," the resident who asked to remain anonymous said. "Close your doors. Close your windows. It’s not safe.”

New Miami police put out a warning on social media. They believe the impostors are specifically pretending to be with Duke Energy or Cincinnati Bell.

Chief Ross Gilbert said that any legitimate energy employees will typically contact you before just showing up at your home. He suggests keeping your property secure at all times and said it is best to be prepared for anything.

Gilbert also said that the village of New Miami has a strict policy against soliciting. He said if you encounter someone acting suspicious or seemingly trying to scam you, call police.

Duke Energy has tips on how to avoid scams and an explanation on how to report them on the company’s website.

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