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This info is for you if you haven't heard of it and to pass along to your friends, family, etc..especially older family members.

Here in So Cal we've been having a rash of "distraction" crimes. They are probably happening across the country. They generally target the elderly and/or people living alone. They generally happen similarly to this one we had recently...

A older woman is coming home from her walk and she is contacted in her driveway by a guy who was dressed in utility type clothes and claimed to be from the water company. He said he needed to check her water pressure due to a recently repaired pipe in the area.

She let him in and he went around to her different faucets running his hands under the water, etc. like he was checking the pressure. He got on his cell phone and pretended to be talking to someone from the main office. His conversation was about the water pressure he was seeing and other associated B.S.

While he distracted her in the kitchen and bathrooms, his associate slipped in and ripped off a bunch of stuff (jewelry, money, etc) from the bedroom.

She did not ask to see any I.D. from the utility and he did not have any tools with him.

Sometimes there's one and sometimes there's two. When the victim only sees one there is an unseen perp who sneaks in the open door while they're distracted. If two perps, they will split up and whoever is not with the victim will snoop around for stuff to rip off (goods or identity theft).

The scam here was water pressure but it could be just about anything. Roof inspection, electrical, free pest inspection, you name it. The point is to distract the victim to rip them off.

Please remind your friends/family that if someone shows up to inspect something or provide a service that they did not schedule to not allow them entry until they verify they're legit.

I would suggest they ask for a contact person and tell the guy to wait while they call to verify. Have them take note of descriptions and any vehicle they arrived in. If they suddenly disappear then call the cops and let them know immediately. If the guy waits then make sure they don't call a number the guy provides - make sure they get it themselves via the internet, phone book, 4-1-1, etc.
 

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Another variation I saw on the local news is they walked the homeowner around the yard as some kind of site survey for a utility while their partner went through the house.
 
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