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Local Sheriff Warning Homeowners about Property Scam

Updated: Wednesday, August 27 2014, 07:18 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS (Csaba Sukosd) -- Authorities in Central Ohio are on alert after a series of specific scams took place in various parts of Northern Ohio.

The scam, which has taken place in the greater Cleveland and Youngstown areas, involves a man posing as a government agency employee who lures residents out of their home over property line concerns.

Once out of the home, the scammer keeps the resident distracted and out of sight from the entrance. The scammer then notifies an accomplice over the phone, who then walks in the house and steals whatever they find.

"A lot of times they'll represent themselves like a repair person or say, you know, we'd like to estimate on trimming your tree," said Fairfield County Sherriff Dave Phelan.

Ruthann McGrew, a homeowner in Lancaster, has always been cautious about suspicious visitors to her home, but also recognizes others could be much more vulnerable.

"I have an 88-year old mother and 91-year old aunt that are totally independent and live by themselves and because of their age, I think they would be more probable to let these people in and listen to what they have to say."

According to Phelan, the best thing to verify an unexpected  identity is more than asking for credentials.

"If they were from the electric department, if they say they're from the division of water you want to make sure you call and ask them are they in the area? Does this person work for you?" He said.
Local Sheriff Warning Homeowners about Property Scam

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