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      Another resident scammed by phony Columbia worker

      Another Northwest Ohio resident has been scammed by on con artist posing as a Columbis Gas worker.

      The latest incident occurred at a home on Starr Ave. in Oregon when a victim paid $242 to a phony gas employee. The incident came in the wake of a scam on Elm Street in Toledo just days prior, where the homeowner paid $200 to an individual claiming to be from Columbia Gas.

      The gas company is urging residents to be vigilant and protect themselves from individuals impersonating Columbia Gas employeers or contractors.

      To avoid becoming a victim, Columbia offers these suggestions: -All Columbia employees and contractors carry identification cards bearing their name, photograph and identification number and will be happy to show them.-Columbia Gas collectors do not take cash or check payment at the door. Payment can only be made over the phone or at an approved payment center.-Columbia Gas does not work collections on the weekends.-If you are not sure about an employee TMs identification, or to verify work to be done in or around your home, call Columbia TMs emergency response telephone number at 800-344-4077. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.-Columbia employees understand if customers call to verify their identity. They will not make you feel pressured to let them into your home.-Most Columbia employees drive clearly marked vehicles that are easy to identify.-Do not allow entry into your home to people who claim to offer a Columbia refund. Columbia employees never deliver cash refunds or "rebates" to customers TM homes. All account transactions are handled through the mail or at a Columbia Gas customer office.-Report Suspicious Activity to the Police. If a person claiming to be a Columbia employee does not have proper identification, call the police and then call Columbia at 800-344-4077. Be prepared to give a detailed description of the individual and their vehicle.