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September 30, 2009 > Fraud targeting businesses

Fraud targeting businesses

By Corinne Davis

At least one local business has been targeted successfully by an imposter. Posing as a uniformed- fire inspector from "Fire Systems Inspections of USA," he claimed he was to conduct a fire inspection on behalf of the City of Union City. When the inspection was finished, he presented a bill for the inspection.

According to Newark Fire Department, business owners should be aware genuine fire inspectors arrive in an officially marked vehicle, not a private unmarked car. Uniforms and fake badges can be purchased on the internet, so business owners should ask for identification which official inspectors will gladly provide. Businesses need to protect themselves against this fraud going on throughout California.

Most fire departments do not charge a fee for fire inspections. If, however, a business does owe a fee, an invoice will be issued displaying the official department logo with the request that payment be remitted to the fire department.

All fire departments in Hayward, Union City, Fremont, Newark and Milpitas and the Alameda County Sheriff's office emphasize any business owner suspicious of someone masquerading as a fire inspector should feel free to telephone their fire department for verification using a telephone number they find in the yellow pages or on the internet, not the one the inspector provides or one that appears on the ID card.

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