Never let any strangers into your home. When answering the door to an unexpected stranger, leave the door closed and locked. Speak to them through the door and make use of peep holes or windows near the door.
Do not rely solely on ID cards. Anyone with some minor computer skills can easily make a photo ID card that looks legitimate. Call 911 for assistance in confirming their identity.
If you have any doubts whatsoever about a service person having a legitimate need to come into your home, do not let them in. Call 911 immediately and ask the emergency dispatcher if the City departments are aware of any utility problems in the area. If there are no known emergencies, a police officer will be sent immediately to investigate further.
If someone approaches you offering to conduct home repairs, do not let them in your home. Call the Police Department immediately by dialing 911 so that officers can investigate this suspicious incident in a timely manner. Officers will determine if the repairmen have a legitimate business (and a permit to conduct such work) or if they are attempting to commit a fraud, theft, or other crime.
When hiring out for home repairs, use only people that you either know or that you have confirmed with references. Call the Better Business Bureau to learn more about their company's history.
Always lock windows and doors, including when out doing yard work.
Unless they are following up on a pre-arranged, permit required installation, City inspectors will not come to your home. They will not show up unannounced to ask you to show them hot water heaters or potential utility problems in your home. Real City workers will never have a problem with you calling their department to confirm their identity and reason for being there.
If there were an emergency that required an evacuation such as a gas leak, the notification would be done by uniformed police officers and/or firefighters.
If you or someone you know is the victim of such a crime, report it immediately so that the Police may prevent further victimization. The offenders of these frauds make a good living cheating people because they are very good at what they do.
Remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch. If something sounds too good to be true, it is!