CHAPEL HILL – The Chapel Hill Fire Department is warning people that there have been reports of individuals impersonating fire inspectors in the area. These fake inspectors have been charging people.

“Any local fire inspector in the town of Chapel Hill is not going to show up and ask payment for any type of service or any type of inspection. If we find a violation, we may charge for that—but the CHFD does not collect currently,” said Dace Bergen, CHFD Interim Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal.

Bergen says the fake inspectors are working under a made-up company called “Fire Prevention. Impersonators claimed to conduct kitchen inspections or system service and targeted merchants including convenience stores and restaurants.

The reports have been in Durham but Bergen says business owners in Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas should still be on alert.

“Know who is servicing and taking care of you, know what companies are servicing your equipment, and make sure that they are reputable,” Bergen explained.

Bergen says this happened several years ago in Durham and they believe the same people are behind the scheme.

Anyone with information should contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760, Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515, or Deputy Fire Marshal Johnny Parker with the Chapel Hill Fire Department at 919-969-2007.