As shared by Kern County Fire Department today:
Fire Inspection Scam Operating in Central and Southern California
Reports indicate that an individual will arrive unannounced at a commercial building implying that they represent an enforcement agency or an insurance underwriter to perform an inspection at no charge to the tenant. Once the inspection is completed, the form is presented for endorsement and handed back to the business owner. A few days later the inspection form (now with fees up to $500) and an attached corresponding invoice arrives by mail for payment. Some businesses will receive an invoice by mail that have not received an inspection for the service.
Defense Against the Scam:
Step 1 Educate Your Staff – This is your business and you have the right to refuse access to anyone you don’t know.
Step 2 Check Credentials – Every Fire Department Inspector has a uniform, badge, and county/city identification card; request to see them or have staff request a scheduled inspection with the owner.
Step 3 Report – If you are unsure about the validity of any safety inspector contact the Kern County Fire Department Fire Prevention/Code Enforcement Unit at 661-391-7080 or your local Law Enforcement Agency.