🔴Scammers posing as utility workers continue to plague New Jersey

🔴The state's police chiefs are urging residents to be aware

🔴 They've offered tips to help stop such scams from happening

Scammers posing as utility workers to enter people’s homes. It’s a problem that’s been plaguing New Jersey for quite some time.

Now, the state’s police chiefs association is partnering with the New Jersey Utilities Association to urge New Jersey residents to be aware of such criminals.

Despite ongoing efforts to educate residents, police have seen a steady stream of victims reporting that fake workers are finding ways to gain access to homes and stealing belongings.

The Typical Scam

Two workers knock on the front door, claiming to be utility workers. One distracts the resident or homeowner, perhaps to check a utility panel or meter, while the other roams free, robbing the place of money and valuables.

The scammers use many excuses such as to discuss an allegedly overdue bill and demand cash, to check water and sewer lines, or to take a water sample.

Conceptual hand writing text caption inspiration showing Scam Alert. Business concept for Scam Alert written on sticky note, reminder cork background with copy space

The Message

“The police chiefs have a strong message for residents: Always check these workers for identification and never give them money,” said Mitch Sklar, executive director of The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.

He said unless it’s a true emergency, it is extremely rare for a technician to visit a customer without a confirmed appointment.

The association is commonly made aware of these ongoing scams, according to Richard Henning, the executive director of the NJUA.

In Paterson, an imposter was caught on camera looking in a mailbox before concocting a story for the resident to gain access as a utility worker. Fortunately, the resident would not let him inside, Henning noted.



This problem is too common in New Jersey, and more needs to be done to spread the word to residents to be aware, Henning said.

So, the NJUA has these important precautions.

⚫ Always ask for a company-issued photo ID – All utility employees in New Jersey carry company-issued photo ID badges

⚫Do not share your utility account numbers or other personal information. Legitimate technicians will never ask for this.

⚫Look for the corporate logo. All service personnel wear uniforms and drive company-branded vehicles with the company logo. At times, utilities use contracted services from other companies, and those companies have branded vehicles and ID as well.

⚫Note the time. Technicians usually work regular business hours. So, if you get a knock on the door late at night or on the weekends, assume it’s a scam.

⚫Never give money. Utility workers never collect money or credit card information from customers in the field.

⚫Suspect a utility imposter? Contact your utility company and confirm whether service work is scheduled in your neighborhood.

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NJ schools that made the most calls to police

These are the 30 schools in New Jersey that made the most notifications to police during the 2022-23 school year for reasons including violence, weapons, vandalism, substances and harassment or bullying. The number of arrests made by police at the schools is also provided when applicable. The schools are listed by number of police calls from least to greatest. The data comes from the state Department of Education's annual School Performance Report.

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