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10/04/2006 ~ Electric utilities on the Florida mainland have reported more than ten incidents of individuals impersonating electric utility workers in order to gain access to homes and steal from unsuspecting victims. No such incidents have occurred within Keys Energy Services (KEYS) service territory, however, customers are urged to remain vigilant.

KEYS customers should be aware that utility employees will never need to gain access to the interior of private homes for official business on behalf of the utility. KEYS employees’ only access exterior properties in order to read electric meters, work on overhead electrical lines, trim trees infringing on electrical lines, or deliver delinquent bill notifications.

According to officials on the Florida mainland, the crime works as follows:

- The individuals in question gain the victim’s trust and access to their home by identifying themselves as employees of the electric utility, or from other similar utilities (i.e.: phone, cable, water, etc.).

- They usually wear hard hats, orange traffic vests, and official looking identification.

- Once inside, they pretend to check for trouble using electrical testers, in some cases they have even tampered with the circuit box and turned off power to parts of the home.

- While one suspect preoccupies the victim, another suspect makes his way through the house pilfering cash and jewelry. The con artists have specifically targeted bedrooms.

KEYS urges customers who feel they are being violated by such impersonators to report them immediately to the appropriate authorities.

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