Homeowner’s Beware of Home Inspection Scam NR11505kr

October 27, 2011

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles area homeowner’s are being warned of bogus letters that may be delivered advising them that their home is set to be inspected by Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) personnel.

On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was made aware of a scam in which a Pacoima resident received a letter advising that their home was slated to be inspected for hazardous materials, mold, exit ways, and fire alarm systems by the LAFD.  The letter was on City of Los Angeles black letterhead stationary identifying “James K. Hahn” as the Mayor of Los Angeles and signed by Former Fire Chief “William Bamattre”.  (A redacted copy of the actual letter is attached to this news release).

These are fraudulent letters and homeowners are advised to call 911 if anyone comes to their door presenting themselves as a member of the LAFD and wanting to perform any type of home inspection.  

The LAPD is taking steps to investigate and identify those involved.  These types of scams often target the elderly and the community’s most vulnerable citizens, used as a ruse to get into homes to commit burglaries and other crimes.

Anyone with information about this scam is asked to contact Foothill Area Burglary Detectives at 818-834-3115.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).   Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.