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New Scam Involves ‘Ground Stability Testing’

Fraudulent flyer found in Portesuello neighborhood, where a suspect tried to enter a home on Thursday, claiming to represent the Office of Emergency Management.

A man in a yellow reflective vest and gray hoodie, and wearing a badge suspended from a lanyard, is suspected of impersonating a county Office of Emergency Management (OEM) representative. A white male, 5’6″, about 25 years of age, knocked on a door in the Portesuello Avenue neighborhood around 1 p.m. on Thursday and tried to convince the homeowner to let him in, pretending there was a need for “ground stability testing.”

Flyers bearing the county OEM seal were found in the neighborhood stating a “team of land technicians are conducting ground stability testing.” No such testing is ongoing, the emergency managers said. And no document would ever go out with this many typos, a staffer said. Santa Barbara Police officers searched for the suspect, who had disappeared. The public is advised to call 9-1-1 if this scheme is attempted.

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