LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Police on Thursday are warning homeowners in the San Fernando Valley to watch out for anyone impersonating fire officials who may be knocking on doors claiming to inspect homes.

KNX 1070’s Jan Stevens reports the scam apparently first shows up in mailboxes.

A Pacoima resident recently received an official-looking letter stating that their home would soon be inspected for hazardous materials, mold, exit ways and fire alarm systems by the LAFD.

But LAPD spokesman Richard French said there are some fairly clear indicators that the letter is phony.

“The letter was on City of Los Angeles letterhead with James K. Hahn identified as the mayor, so that’s a red flag right there, of course,” said French.

A signature for “Fire Chief William Bamattre” was also on the letter. Bamattre retired as chief of the LAFD in January 2007.

If anyone comes to the door presenting themselves as a member of the Fire Department and wants to inspect your home or property, close the door and call 9-1-1, French said.


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