SCAM ALERT: Bettendorf police warn of utility worker scam

Bettendorf police are warning the public of a utility worker scam, after a theft at a home in Bettendorf.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 2:56 PM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - Bettendorf police are warning the public of a utility worker scam, after a theft at a home in Bettendorf.

According to police, a person acted like he was a city employee utility worker in the 800 block of 4th Street. He asked the resident go outside with him to the backyard where he needed to work.

The man then acted like he was getting a call and left the backyard, telling the resident he would be right back, police said. The man never came back to the backyard and when the resident walked back through the home he found muddy footprints and items stolen.

In an email to neighborhood watch groups, Bettendorf Police Department Sergeant Jeff Nelson gave safety tips to keep in mind if someone knocks on your door claiming to be a utility worker who needs to get into your house or have you exit your residence to follow them outside:

  • Always lock your doors to your residence, even when you are at home.
  • Stop and think: Are you expecting anyone to come to your home?
  • Remember that most utility companies won’t send a worker to your home unannounced. They usually will make an appointment before showing up.
  • Use your peephole or look out a window to identify visitors.
  • If your door has a chain, put it on before answering the door. This will create a barrier between you and the subject. Do not allow anyone inside of your home that you do not know.
  • Always ask to see the subject’s employee identification.
  • Look for a company logo on the person’s uniform and vehicle.
  • Call the utility company to verify the person’s identification. Make sure you have the person wait outside behind a locked door while you do this. A legitimate worker won’t mind waiting while you verify their employment information. The utility company will be able to tell you whether the person is an employee and whether they have dispatched a service call to your home or neighborhood.
  • If the person is an imposter or if you are still suspicious of the subject’s identity, contact your local law enforcement immediately by calling 911.

The Davenport Police Department warned the public of a similar scam taking place in Davenport in February.