Tips On Avoiding Door-to-Door Scammers

LA MESA -- When city or utility workers need to come to your door, you are usually notified in advance and each carries an official identification card that can be verified with their employers before you grant entrance. See advice in Crime Prevention below that will help prevent you from being a victim of door-to-door scammers misrepresenting themselves.

Case Highlights: On Monday, March 16, 2015 at approximately 10:19 AM, La Mesa Police responded to a report of a commercial burglary that occurred at 6130 Lake Murray Boulevard. Between 3:00 PM on Sunday, March 15th and 10:00 AM on Monday, March 16th, unknown suspect(s) used an unknown tool to cut off the pad lock securing the storage unit for the business. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400. You may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS (or www.sdcrimestoppers.com). You can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case.
Traffic Information: Speeding statistically, speeding remains the number 1 injury traffic accident causing contributor in La Mesa. Officers determine and gauge whether someone is “speeding” or not by evaluating if they are driving too fast for the present conditions or not. On city streets, unlike on the freeway, your safe speed is ruled by California Vehicle Code section 22350, which states: No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property. Notice that this section never mentions a particular speed. Your “safe speed for the present conditions” is dictated by the regulatory speed limit signs in the area and the traffic, weather and road conditions. Please adhere to the above Vehicle Code section in order to drive safely, prevent accidents and expensive tickets.
Crime Prevention: If a person claiming to be an employee of a utility company or the City of La Mesa unexpectedly arrives at your home for an inspection:
• Ask for photo identification. All employees of the City of La Mesa, SDG&E, Helix Water District, and AT&T will have agency specific photo identification.
• Require the person wait outside while you verify their identity.
• Close and lock the front door while you contact the agency.
• Use the phone number you find in the phone book or online, not a number provided by the individual. See below for City of La Mesa, SDG&E, Helix Water District, and AT&T contact information.
If you believe the person is not who they claim to be, call the La Mesa Police Department immediately at 619-667-1400, 24 hours a day.
AGENCY SPECIFIC INFORMATION
CITY OF LA MESA
Verify a La Mesa employee’s identification by calling the City Hall mainline, 619-463-6611. City Hall is open Monday through alternate Fridays, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If City Hall is closed, call the La Mesa Police Department at 619-667-1400, 24 hours a day. All employees will have a City of La Mesa photo ID card. You will be contacted by mail or phone prior to any necessary inspection. La Mesa public safety employees (police and fire) responding to call will be in uniform.
SDG&E
Verify a SDG&E employee’s identification by calling 1-800-411-7343, 24 hours a day. All employees will have a SDG&E photo ID card. SDG&E employees rarely need access to the inside of a home except for appointments scheduled by the resident. SDG&E employees may contact the resident for assistance accessing the property to check a meter. Verify the identity of the employee as described above before providing access to the yard. Lock your doors and windows before going outside to assist the employee.
HELIX WATER DISTRICT
Verify a Helix Water District employee’s identification by calling 619-466-0585, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After regular business hours, call 619-466-3234. All employees will have a Helix Water District photo ID card. Employees will drive marked vehicles and will wear either a Helix Water District t-shirt or a Helix Water District light reflective safety vest. Helix Water District employees will never need to enter your home. District offices will contact you directly prior to any rare occurrences necessitating access to your home.
AT&T
Verify an AT&T employee’s identification by calling 1-800-288-2020, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All employees will have an AT&T photo ID card. Door-to-door AT&T U-Verse sales personnel are instructed to remain outdoors when making unsolicited contacts. AT&T Service Technicians will not seek to enter a residence without prior appointment. In some cases, Service Technicians may need to access utility poles or boxes through private property. Verify the identity of the employee as described above before providing access to your yard. Lock your doors and windows before going outside to assist the Technician.

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Tags: Crime, Government, La Mesa Today, weekly crime report

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