LONG BEACH (CBS) — People posing as City of Long Beach and/or Long Beach Fire Department employees, offering to inspect fire extinguishers and offering to bring them up to date are scammers, according to officials.
As many as a dozen businesses have fallen victim to the scam, in which a person dressed as a Long Beach Fire Department official asks to inspect the business’ fire extinguisher and asks for money to bring it up to date. One business owner paid more than $100, another paid as much as $360, CBS2/KCAL9’s Dave Lopez reports.
The City of Long Beach nor the Long Beach Fire Department does not offer this service.
“They just come in and ask to see the fire extinguisher,” store clerk Sarah Sarahtetsuk said. “So I just told them, like, my boss is not here. And they asked us if they can call the boss.”
One business owner, who didn’t want to go on camera, said she paid $320 to have her fire extinguisher inspected. The next day, another person dressed as a firefighter came in and tried to run the same scam on her again.
The Long Beach Fire Department says they are working with the police department to identify the suspects.
Business owners who are approached by anyone asking to inspect their fire extinguishers being advised to ask for ID, say you’re not interested and call the police on their non-emergency line at (562) 4035-6711, or, if feeling threatened, call 911.