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Central Indiana police departments warn about utility and yard work scammers

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Posted at 1:22 AM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 01:32:45-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Police departments in different parts of central Indiana are warning people about the same scam.

If anyone stops by your home saying they need to do utility or yard work, they say be aware this could be a criminal targeting you. Fishers and Speedway Police have received reports of this happening.

The homeowners in Fishers were lured out of their home by someone claiming to be a tree trimmer. While outside of their home, police said another person went in and stole stuff.

The Speedway Police Department said they received a report from a resident that a man came by their home claiming to be from the city of Indianapolis and needed to test their water. The resident refused to let the man inside their home.

On Tuesday, Frances Greenwood, who lives in Indianapolis, experienced something similar to what happened in Speedway. Unfortunately, she did let the man inside her home.

"I had no reason to disbelieve him because he was dressed like the utility people and he showed me a badge," Greenwood said. The man she allowed in her home gave her a dire warning. "He said he was from the water company and people in the area were having trouble with their water and they needed to be sent to the hospital."

While in her home, the man asked Greenwood to run her water for several minutes. Then, he requested to go into her garage. This is when red flags starting going up for the 92-year-old.

"I thought that was strange. Why would he be looking in my garage?" Greenwood said the man also told her something odd about her neighbor.

"He told me had been to the neighbor next door and that she didn't want to be bothered by anybody until after 6 o'clock tonight and I was going to ask her about her water. I thought that doesn't sound like something my neighbor would say."

It wasn't something she said. After the man left, Greenwood called her neighbor who said no one had been to her house. At this point, Greenwood called the water company. They told her they didn't have anyone in her area testing water.

Knowing all of this, Greenwood is on high alert. She wants to public to know what happened to her to prevent it from happening to anyone else.

"It made me so nervous that I didn't sleep the whole night. I didn't go to sleep until about 3 or 4 in the morning and I'm still upset over it."

WRTV reached out to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to ask if similar incidents have been reported in Indianapolis. Lt. Shane Foley with IMPD responded to our inquiry by saying "I can't verify either way if we are getting any calls of that nature. We don't have a way to track that."

If something like this happens to you or in your neighborhood, law enforcement urges you to not let anyone in your home unless you know they're supposed to be there. You're also encouraged to call 911.

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