Scammer poses as Westport Fire Department

The Westport Fire Department warned residents and businesses about a scam in which a person reportedly told a business owner they represented the fire department, and walked away with a cash payment from an employee.

The Westport Fire Department warned residents and businesses about a scam in which a person reportedly told a business owner they represented the fire department, and walked away with a cash payment from an employee.

Lynandro Simmons /Hearst Connecticut Media /

WESTPORT — Scammers posing as members of the Westport Fire Department are targeting local businesses, claiming to be inspecting fire extinguishers and seeking cash payments.

“Local businesses should be aware that this is a known scam, and that those perpetrating it generally target establishments that employ younger people,” according to a press release from Westport Police.

Wesport Police received a complaint Saturday from a Saugatuck area business that was visited by a person claiming to represent the Westport Fire Department. The person reportedly told a juvenile employee that he was required to inspect the fire extinguishers on site, and said both had to be replaced. He claimed to have spoken to the store manager, police said, and provided a paper invoice for $198.15 to cover replacement of the extinguishers, and agreed to be paid in cash.

The invoice was labeled “Metro Fire Prevention” of Norwalk. Westport Police said that is the name of an actual company that provides sprinkler services, but is not based in Norwalk and does not employ the person said to have visited the business.

The employee paid the person in cash and the suspect left, claiming he would return with two fire extinguishers.

The suspect is described as a white man in his 30s, 6 feet tall, weighing about 190 pounds. He was said to be wearing a black sweater atop a blue buttoned shirt, blue jeans and a black baseball cap, “possibly attempting to mimic the appearance of a fire department officials,” police said.

“Employees of the Westport Fire Department are clearly identifiable as such when working in their official capacity and do not employ sub-contractors to conduct inspections, nor would they request payments for services rendered,” according to Westport Police, a statement echoed on the Westport Fire Department Facebook page.

This is the first complaint about this scam in 2020, Westport Police said, telling businesses to call police immediately if confronted with such a request.

Anyone with information about Saturday’s incident is asked to call Westport Police at 203-341-6000.