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Health officials are warning cosmetology businesses to be on the lookout for impostors posing as health inspectors.

One or two salon owners have in recent weeks complained of individuals demanding to inspect their facilities and refusing to show ID or be accompanied on the inspection, said Salt Lake Valley Health Department spokesman Nicholas Rupp. The intent of the fraudulent inspections remains unclear, though authorities are investigating possible links to a string of commercial thefts, he said.

Last year, a handful of restaurants received similar visits from impostor health inspectors demanding payment of fines.

Businesses subject to health inspections include restaurants, tattoo/piercing establishments, cosmetologists, gyms, hotels, tanning and massage salons and swimming pools.

Officials say genuine inspectors will, upon arrival, always:

• Display identification.

• Ask for the manager or person in charge.

• State the purpose of the inspection or visit and permit owners to accompany them on tour.

• Review findings and leave a copy of the inspection report with the manager, unless the inspection was spurred by a consumer complaint.

Business owners who suspect fraud should collect as much identifying information as possible, including a vehicle description, and call the Salt Lake Valley Health Department Division of Environmental Health at 801-313-6600.

— Kirsten Stewart