NEWARK — Police are warning the public about a home improvement scam targeting elderly residents in the city.

In one case, a woman attempted to set up an appointment for a furnace and air conditioning equipment inspection at what was described as a "half price" of $60, police said.

The female suspect called and told the victim they would be "in his area next week," then attempted to gain his trust with small talk, asking specifics about the age of the equipment and pressuring the homeowner on the offer while trying to obtain his address.

While police have received a report of an attempted scam, no actual thefts have been reported.

Police warned that during some scams, a suspect distracts the homeowner with the home-related issues, while a second suspect roams the house looking for valuables to steal.

To avoid scam artists, police said residents should not allow people into their home or backyard that they do not know or trust. Also, police say residents should confirm that they are licensed and should always ask for references.

If they claim no permit is required, contact the planning or building department to double check, police said. Residents should never agree to something verbally, police said, and should only proceed after both parties have signed a contract.

For more information call police at 510-578-4209 or email tim.jones@newark.org