PSE&G imposter wanted for scamming 93-year-old man in Cinnaminson, New Jersey

CINNAMINSON, N.J. (WPVI) — A South Jersey community is on edge after police say a PSE&G scammer violated the trust of a 93-year-old man and defrauded him in his own home.

“The older gentlemen let him go into the house and into his basement,” Cinnaminson Township Police Chief Richard Calabrese said.

Chief Calabrese says a plainclothes man claiming to work for PSE&G told the Cinnaminson homeowner he was there to inspect a gas leak.

Once inside, they said the suspect told the victim to wait downstairs while he went upstairs to check on something.

“After the guy left, he looked around and found his drawers were ransacked and some items were missing,” Chief Calabrese said.

Investigators say he stole jewelry and money, but most importantly, he took away this community’s sense of security.

“We were petrified after it happened being in the house. I mean we’re old and we look like a good target,” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified.

“It’s just kind of sad that people take advantage of things,” neighbor Walter Williams said.

According to PSE&G, it’s not uncommon for a utility worker to turn up unannounced at a home to inspect a gas leak or take a meter reading.

“If they’re not wearing PSE&G apparel or driving a marked vehicle, those are some big red flags to watch out for. But the key is to ask for ID,” said Rebecca Mazzarella, a spokeswoman for PSE&G.

Unfortunately, these scams are increasing. Action News’ data journalist team found that in 2021 more than 14,000 of these scams were reported in the Philadelphia, Camden and Wilmington metro areas.

That number has doubled from the 7,000 scams reported in 2020.

Many of these scammers get away with it.

“We are confident that we will solve this problem,” said Chief Calabrese.

Cinnaminson Police say they’ve been scouring the neighborhood looking for surveillance video and are currently investigating some leads.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cinnaminson Police Department.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. PSE&G imposter wanted for scamming 93-year-old man in Cinnaminson, New Jersey

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