Scammers are attempting to be let into people’s homes by claiming they’re from the fire department.
Police said they’ve been on the prowl in the greater Hartford area and preying on carbon monoxide fears.
Calls were taken by homeowners in East Hartford, Bloomfield, Glastonbury and Windsor, according to fire officials.
The scammer claims he or she is from the fire department and tries to schedule a free carbon monoxide test.
“I was talking to a fire marshal yesterday and she said some of her residents had actually been told that they were breaking the law if they didn't allow [the scammers] to come in and do the testing, that they were breaking code,” said Lauri Volkert, a Windsor fire inspector.
Volkert said fire departments would never do something like that.
“You're never going to get a phone call from the fire department saying you need to set up this inspection unless you own a multi-family home, like a three or four family [home],” she explained.
Officials said the scam has been running for a few days. There’s been no confirmation that it’s worked.
Because the scammers sound believable, however, they wanted to get the word out.
“Maybe a lot of people will [let the scammers in], if they think the fire department is calling,” said Edmundo Moreno of Hartford. “They might think their carbon monoxide detectors need to be changed and they'll let them in.”
“It's like when someone calls for a computer virus, saying you've got a virus,” said Lou Presta of Windsor. “Microsoft isn't doing that for people. That's people just trying to scam you.”
Police warn it’s never a good idea to let a complete stranger into a home under those circumstances. People who spoke to Eyewitness News agreed.
“They could get robbed, they could get hurt,” said Aida Gonzales of Windsor.
“A lot of things could happen when they get in the home,” said Angela Pugliese, also of Windsor. “But you got to make sure they don't come in the home and I'm sure people fall for it and it's shame.”
Firefighters said if smoke and CO detectors are required for homeowners. However, they sought to remind those people that the fire department would never to home to home to enforce it.
They said the department would also never call to schedule an appointment.
Anyone looking to get their home tested can reach out to their local fire department.
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