Crime

Scammer targets heating, air conditioning customers in Whatcom County

A scam involving someone posing as a local heating or air conditioning employee is making its way around Whatcom County.

Two businesses in Whatcom County — Feller Heating & Air Conditioning and Marr’s Heating & Air Conditioning — have told police that a man has called their customers impersonating an employee, according to Bellingham Police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht.

The scammer calls and says the customer needs to set up a furnace servicing. The phony worker shows up at the residence and does some sort of fake work, then gets paid and leaves before the homeowner knows the work was fake, Vander Yacht said.

Steve Felbinger, vice president of Feller Heating & Air Conditioning, said one scammer simply shut the gas off to the furnace and left an elderly man without heat. He also overcharged him for the fake service.

Felbinger said the phone number provided in multiple instances has been from 206-324-7895, with the caller ID of Chip Horton. When the customers tried calling the number back, they were told the number has been disconnected.

“We don’t call customers and solicit business in that way,” Felbinger said.

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