INDPENDENCE, Mo. — Police are advising the public about a scam involving would-be salesmen pretending to be Independence utilities workers.
Independence city leaders said they’ve had as many as 30 complaints from the public.
Detectives said scammers are going door-to-door in some Independence neighborhoods, posing as Independence Power and Light employees. They’re offering a solar power package that will reduce or eliminate their utility bill.
Utility companies are often the target of scammers. Police want the public to be aware, and for now, no one that they’re aware of has fallen victim.
Joe Hegendeffer, deputy director with IPL, said the company has no such agreement with solar companies, and homeowners need to use discretion when talking with anyone who comes to their door with an offer.
“They’re not going to collect there at the site. They’re easily identifiable with IPL shirts and logos. I would say anybody with questions can contact customer service immediately,” Hegendeffer said.
However, IPL workers sometimes visit homes to read utility meters or to hang door tags with messages for customers. Hegendeffer said sometimes, scammers use poor copies of IPL uniforms and identification badges.
Police recommend asking any solicitor for identification or even a business license — and never to give them money or sign written agreements on the spot.
Independence Police spokesman Jack Taylor said if people aren’t sure, they can call the police department or IPL customer service.
“We can send officers out. We can make contact with them. We can get them identified and figure out what’s going on with them,” Taylor said.
Scammers often roam from town-to-town working a specific area. Taylor said this scam can amount to felony theft, depending on how much money is involved.
If someone comes to your door with this scam, Independence Police can be reached at 816-325-7300.