WAPA warns of scammer impersonating utility employee to gain access to homes


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ST. THOMAS - A man is attempting to enter people's homes by impersonating a utility employee.

The V.I. Water and Power Authority is warning the community of an "imposter" who is pretending that he is an authority employee and is asking to speak with residents about lowering their utility bill, according to Jerain Fleming, spokeswoman for WAPA.

Two people so far have called the authority reporting that a man approached their home and asked to come inside to discuss their bills, Fleming said. Fleming did not know if there was any neighborhood being targeted.

WAPA reported the incidents to the V.I. Police.

According to V.I. Police Department spokeswoman Melody Rames, 911 dispatchers at the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency have not received any calls about the impersonator.

All WAPA staff have identification cards, according to Fleming, and also drive WAPA vehicles when working.

WAPA employees do at times make in-home visits for the VIenergize business unit, which conducts energy assessments on homes to assist residents with their energy costs, according to a statement from WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. Those visits, however, are only made at the request of a customer, Hodge said.

"We are concerned that such actions are taking place by unknown individuals seemingly based on WAPA's operations." Hodge said. "We want to immediately caution our customers to be aware of unknown persons around their neighborhood and to report any such incident to the proper authorities."

WAPA encouraged customers to report any additional incidents to the police.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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