According to Texarkana, Texas Police Department at least one person in the Texarkana area has fallen victim to a scam that starts with being told their home was on fire.
“Rapidly ringing the doorbell of a home, a man frantically tells whoever answers the door that he saw smoke coming from the electric meter or the back of the house. Saying that he thinks the house is on fire, he is then able to convince the person that someone needs to immediately throw the electrical breakers to the house and volunteers to do it. Once inside, he turns off the electricity and then claims that he smells smoke in another part of the house.”
According to police the suspect then ran to the bedroom area of the house under the pretense of helping the homeowner save any valuables that they might have there. Instead the thief placed valuables in his pockets before the homeowner could make it to the room. He then says that he is going outside to look for the fire truck that he claims to have already called.
There was no fire and the guy was never seen again.
Police warn, “if this should happen to you, take a moment to evaluate the situation. Normally, don’t let anyone into your house that you don’t know and trust. While it might be a good samaritan trying to help, it might also be someone trying to cause harm. Of course, if you think that there is any chance that your house is actually on fire, grab your keys and get out of the house – locking the door behind you as you go out. Call 9-1-1 and the police and firefighters will be there in a matter of minutes.”