Beverly Hills police and city officials are warning residents to be on guard against a phone scam in which the caller identifies himself as a city official and asks to inspect their property for earthquake damage.
Authorities said thus far they have only received a single complaint from a concerned citizen, but regard the scam as worrisome.
According to police, a Beverly Hills resident this week complained about getting a call from a man alleging to be a member of the “City of Beverly Hills Commission Group,” saying he needed to inspect the resident's property for earthquake damage.
The person who received the call thought it suspicious since there had not been any significant earthquakes recently, the department said. When the resident asked the caller for his phone number to verify that he was calling from the city, he declined, saying he had “thousands of people” to call and that there was no call-back number he could provide.
“Calls claiming to be from the city of Beverly Hills should be verified,” the Police Department said in an advisory message. “Do not provide personal information, no matter how pushy and aggressive the caller may be.”
Beverly Hills Police Sgt. Kurt Haefs said that though there has been only one call reported so far, city officials are treating it seriously and putting out alerts because of the danger associated with strangers entering residents’ homes.
“We want to inform our citizens so they don’t allow someone into their home under the guise of being a city official or being connected with the city,” Haefs said.