ITHACA, N.Y. — The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department has issued a warning to residents about scammers posing as utility workers in the area.

Police said the people show up at a home and approach the residents as representatives of an unidentified utility company.

The scammers usually wear clothes that appear to be a utility company uniform with a logo on the front and matching business cards.

“It has been reported the subjects will ask to review the homeowners utility bill in an effort to secure a reduced rate for electricity for the homeowner. Once they have reviewed the utility bill the subjects make note of the account number on the bill,” police said in a news release, noting that no utility companies have reported conducting surveys in the area.

Police have recommended the following three steps to take if you are approached by the scammers:

  1. Decline giving any information and close the door.
  2. Without making further contact with the people, attempt to get a physical description of them (attire, any vehicles being used, the fake company name).
  3. Do not provide any account information if contacted about your account by phone. Instead, hang up and contact your local law enforcement agency.

Featured photo courtesy of Flickr. 

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.