A person pretending to be an inspector with the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections has been asking residents for money and demanding entry into homes, the department's commissioner warned Tuesday.
L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said residents should ask for proper identification from anyone who claims to be an L&I inspector.
There have been at least two reported incidents in the last week in which a person posing as an L&I inspector has told residents that the adjacent house or lot is scheduled to be torn down or cleaned and that the inspector needs to go inside the resident's house.
On Tuesday, there was a new reported incident in which a homeowner said a person posing as an L&I inspector showed a badge and asked for a $91 payment, which the homeowner provided.
"All citizens should be aware that inspectors from the Department of Licenses & Inspections wear official uniforms and will produce identification and business cards upon request," Williams said in a statement. "Inspectors will never request payment or state that a fee is owed."
The Philadelphia Police Department is investigating the reported incidents, which took place in Kensington and Hunting Park.
"I urge all citizens to remain vigilant. If you are approached by an individual purporting to be an L&I inspector, please request to see identification. If you have any doubt that the individual is in fact an L&I inspector, you should refuse entry and call 911 immediately," Williams said.
Citizens may also contact L&I directly at 215-686-2400 to verify whether an inspector is scheduled to be at the location.