There were sets of two young men (early-mid 20s) in suits and clipboards going door to door (at least two sets, more explained below) around 7:30pm Tuesday night. I live in the 1300 blocks in Petworth. The men represented themselves as being from PEPCO and asked my name and to see my utility bill. Their line was that “PEPCO send out an important notification on page 2 of your bill and we are here to make sure you are aware of it.”
Sounded a little fishy and I declined to show them my bill, but I thanked them for bringing it to my attention. I immediately called PEPCO and I was told that there wasn’t any general notification on their bills and that, in any case, they didn’t go door-to-door with that kind of information (much less to ask to see bills). Thinking this might be a scam I thought I should do something to report them, or at least discourage them somewhat.
I called the police, who later arrived and spoke with one pair of the gentlemen. As the police were on the way I received a call back from a dispatcher who said officers were speaking with the two men. I could still see the two men I spoke with working their way down the block and no officers in sight. Speaking to the dispatcher, it appeared there was another group of men going door-to-door.
After the confusion was resolved additional officers arrived and spoke with the two men on my street. The officers later came to me and told me the door-to-door men were “legit”. They may have been, but these men certainly lied to me about who they were and who they represented.
So are these gentlemen scammers or just really aggressive salesmen? I couldn’t know for sure, but I would hate for any of my elderly and perhaps more trusting neighbors to be caught up in some kind of scam.”