Iowa American Water Warns Customers of Potential Scam
Company alerts customers to reports of persons posing as water company employees
Iowa American Water issued an advisory warning to customers to be wary of persons posing as water company personnel to gain access to their homes. This advisory comes on the heels of a warning issued by the Davenport Police Department alerting residents of a current home burglary scam taking place in and around the Quad Cities.
According to the Davenport Police Department:
“Groups of typically two to five individuals impersonate businesses such as the utility companies and home repair contractors, as well as offering their services to shovel walks or remove tree stumps. They use this deceptive practice in an attempt to gain entry into a house so they can commit a burglary and take the residents belongings. In this type of scam, the phony workers target homes to burglarize when no one is expected home; or, they work as a team to distract the occupant in order to gain access into the home. Typically, these burglars will knock on your door and be very persistent in distracting you, while their partners enter your home and burglarize it. These scam artists will try to make the potential victim panic by stating there is some kind of emergency, hoping to catch you off guard so you will let them inside your home. One example is as follows, “There is a water main break in your neighborhood and we have to test the water in your home right away.”
“For the safety of our customers, we are issuing this alert,” said Randy Moore, president of Iowa American Water. “Customers are always encouraged to contact our customer service center at 1-866-641-2108 if they are unsure of the identity of someone who comes to their home as a representative of Iowa American Water. It is always better to err on the side of safety and confirm someone’s identity before allowing them inside your home.”
Iowa American Water recommends customers take the following steps to ensure their safety against imposters:
- Stop and think: Are you expecting anyone to come to your home? Iowa American Water does not typically send a service worker to your homeunannounced.They usually will have an appointment before showing up. An exception would be if there is a water main break in your neighborhood. Water company distribution workers routinely knock on customers’ doors to provide an advance notification if water service will be temporarily interrupted during main repairs; however, they typically do not request entry to your home.
- All Iowa American Water employees have company-issued photo ID cards to verify their employment.However, if you cannot see an ID card without opening your door; you should call the company’s customer service center at 1-866-641-2108 for verification.
- Iowa American employees drive company vehicles with an Iowa American logo printed on the side and have a uniform, jacket or hat with the company logo.For a customer service call, the vehicle would be visible to the customer and parked outside their home. During meter reading, a company vehicle may be parked several blocks away as the meter reader is walking his route.
- Iowa American Water employees do not request entry to your home after dark unless it is an emergency call requested by the customer or an appointment for service work that has been scheduled in advance by the customer.
- If in doubt, you should always contact the water company for employee verification or contact the local police department.You should always have the person wait outside behind a locked door while this is done. A legitimate worker won’t mind waiting while you verify their employment information.
- Iowa American Water advises customers to never admit a person into their home if they are doubtful of that person’s identity. It is always much better to be safe than sorry.
“There is no need to feel uneasy about making someone wait outside while you confirm that person is a legitimate utility worker,” added Moore. Iowa American Water employees care about customers’ safety, and our employees don’t mind the wait. We believe it’s worth the peace of mind for customers.”
About Iowa American Water
Iowa American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 195,000 people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly tradedU.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,600 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, waste water and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 40 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.iowaamwater.com.
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