Fake fire inspector scams local businesses - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fake fire inspector scams local businesses

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A man posing as a fire inspector is scamming local business owners by performing bogus inspections then billing victims hundreds of dollars.

Surveillance video captured the scammer talking to business owner Daniel Willeme at his warehouse near the border. The man claimed to be from a company called First Fire Systems Inspection Co. and was hired by the landlord. But a News 8 investigation turned up a long list of complaints on web forums saying the company is bogus and tricked several posters out of money.

"Basically, I believed him. He had a shirt. It said fire inspector. So I didn't see anything wrong about it," said Willeme.

Willeme says the man took some notes while looking around the building for about ten minutes, then had Willeme sign some paperwork. A few days later a bill showed up for $484.00.

San Diego Fire-Rescue officials say real inspectors will usually make an appointment. And they always make it clear who they work for by wearing a uniform and a city ID.

"We really want people to be aware of who is coming into their business or their home," says Deputy Fire Marshall Eddie Villavicencio.

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