Los Angeles News

Phony fire inspectors targeting LA businesses, LAFD warns

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Los Angeles Fire Department issued a warning to business owners in the city to beware of impostors posing as fire inspectors to extract money.

Scam artists wearing official-looking uniforms have been targeting businesses across the city, according to the department. The impostor usually asks an employee to sign a form to authorize a phony inspection.

Weeks or months later the business receives a bill for payment for work supposedly done as part of an annual inspection, and penalties are threatened.

The department does not charge fees for such services for examining businesses. The department is also concerned that businesses may have a false sense of security about their fire extinguishers, alarm systems, emergency lighting, exit signage and fire sprinklers being up to code without having been properly inspected.

Before allowing any inspector to enter your business, require the individual to present government-issued identification and a business card. Local fire department officials all have badges, and their uniforms will clearly state their agency name. LAFD personnel are pleased to provide multiple ways for anyone to confirm their identity.

If you suspect suspicious activity or someone impersonating a Fire Department employee, contact law enforcement immediately and notify your local fire department.

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