Salt Lake police and water officials are warning residents to beware of phony workers asking to enter homes under the guise of checking the water.

Salt Lake Public Utilities officials say they have recently received a number of phone calls from customers who say men claiming to be from the water department have asked to gain entrance into their homes to take water samples."Our customers have complained that these people have been aggressive in trying to gain entrance to the home," said public utilities director LeRoy W. Hooton Jr.

Police Lt. Marty Vuyk said the phony water employees have not stolen anything or assaulted anyone. But police are very concerned about whether they're staking out the homes for future burglaries or have other criminal motives.

"At this point it remains a mystery what their intent is," he said.

One woman, however, called police Tuesday after two men told her they needed to check her water. They looked under her bed, looked behind items and snooped around her small apartment. The man also "patted her down" or frisked her, possibly looking for a wallet or cash, a police report stated.

Hooton said department employees rarely sample home water, but when they do they contact the residents first. Police say residents should always ask for identification from anyone asking to enter their home. They can also ask the workers to wait while they call the department to verify their visit.

"Our personnel will have identification and will always be in public utilities service vehicles," Hooton said.

Customers are asked to immediately contact police at 799-3000 or public utilities at 483-6900 if they are contacted by anyone asking for water samples.