needed routine maintenance, collected the payment in advance and left
without performing the service, Burbank Police Sgt. William Berry
A similar incident was reported in late October in Beverly Hills
when a restaurant employee paid a con artist $600 for fire
extinguisher services before he left without doing the job.
Berry said police are unsure if the same man perpetrated the
crimes, and no one has been arrested.
"A lot of times, I think this happens with greater frequency than
reported," Berry said. "Some people don't report it because they're
The best way to prevent the scam is to ask for credentials and pay
after the service is completed.
"In order to be legal, [a repairman] needs to have proper
licensing," Berry said. "So it's always a good idea to check and make
sure they have proper registration from the state department of
About 10 scams a year are reported to Burbank Police, he added.
Anyone who has been the victim of a scam is encouraged to call the
police at 238-3000.