Officials Warn About Fire Extinguisher Scam Targeting Businesses

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — No store owner would want their business to be unsafe.

So when a man went into several restaurants in downtown Pittsburgh, claiming to be a private fire inspector, employees invited him in.

“There are many third party private companies that are legitimate companies, that work under contract for various businesses,” Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones said.

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Authorities say last Wednesday, a man hit up the Bruegger’s Bagels in Market Square, then the Subway on Liberty Avenue. He claimed to be testing fire extinguishers for “Metro Fire Prevention.”

“Walked around a little bit, came back with an invoice and requested $400 in cash,”  Chief Darryl Jones said.

The employees paid up. The problem is “Metro Fire Prevention” doesn’t exist.

The lesson here, Chief Darryl Jones said, is to always ask a worker for credentials when they walk in to your home or business.

“I’m thinking that if they’re under contract with you, they will probably bill you. I doubt very seriously they would ask for cash.”

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