stars-storyMIDDLEPORT – Residents and officials were concerned after several reports came in about men going door to door asking to see resident’s electric or gas bills.

The first call came in about 2 p.m. to the Middleport Police Department. By 2:45 p.m. Middleport Police Chief Bruce Swift had found two of the individuals going door to door. Chief Swift said the men were wearing yellow windbreakers with the logo IGS Energy on them. Chief Swift said a group of up to seven people were going door to door asking for residents to show them their utility bills for gas or electric.

In Middleport, those wanting to go door to door must obtain permission from the mayor and fill out paperwork. The purpose of the permit is the safety of the residents.

Chief Swift said he informed the individuals in question that they needed to have the proper permit in order to go door to door in the village. Chief Swift is checking the background of the company, but said residents should never give out personal information to someone that shows up on their doorstep. He also said that residents should err on the side of caution in regard to opening their door to anyone.

“It’s just not safe,” he added that it was, “hard to tell who is and isn’t with so many scams.”
Deregulation has opened the door for companies to offer discounted rates to energy customers. Some of them are scams and Chief Swift said it can be difficult to determine which are legitimate and which are not. He suggested residents contact their energy provider before giving out information to anyone on the phone or in person.

He added that residents should, “never let them inside your house.” He advised that people use common sense when someone shows up. Chief Swift said not to allow people into homes and be cautious.

Mayor Michael Gerlach sent out a village email to alert residents what was happening. The matter was resolved quickly, but Chief Swift said residents should always use caution and not give out personal information in such a manner just to be safe.