SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Water and sewer officials are alerting Miami-Dade residents about scam artists who are out in full force after Hurricane Irma to prey on the vulnerable by posing as county employees.
According to the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, impostors will try to find a way into potential victims’ homes. “They are trying to allege that there is something with the water, that they need to get inside the house to check the pipes or check their water quality, and that’s not the case,” said Miami-Dade Water and Sewer spokesperson Jennifer Messemer-Skold.
Residents have reported the fake county workers who attempt to trick them into entering their residences. “We know for a fact, as far as post-Irma, there has been a rash of these events where people portray themselves as being from the Water and Sewer Department in South Dade,” said Messemer-Skold.
Once inside, it’s a free-for-all for the scammers to take and do as they please.
In order to avoid being targeted, officials said, residents need to be aware of certain department policies. “Water and Sewer employees from Miami-Dade County would never need to enter your home for any reason, no matter what the jobs they’re doing,” said Messemer-Skold. “They would be wearing an identified Miami-Dade Water and Sewer uniform. They would have a Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department ID.”
County workers will also have vests marked with “WASD” in big black letters, but scammers have even gone as far as to present fake business cards.
Messemer-Skold urged residents to remain vigilant. “Because we want to make sure that people are not victimized twice,” she said. “They already went through the trauma and possible damage to their homes and properties because of the storm. We don’t want you to be taken advantage of.”
Officials said county workers will always show up in a properly marked truck. Residents who are still unsure about the authenticity of an employee may call the county at 311 during normal working hours.
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