FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE03-70
Issues Advisory To Homeowners To Beware Of Imposters Posing As “Water
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) cautioned
residents of the Bronx today that several men posing as DEP or “Water
Department” employees have been attempting to gain access to homes
in the Bronx by claiming to investigate water leaks.
“There are reports that the individuals identified themselves
as being from DEP or the water department, ”said DEP Commissioner
Christopher O. Ward. "These people are not employees of DEP or its
contractors. Accordingly, we have outlined precautions that citizens should
take to protect themselves from impostors who claim they need to inspect
leaks, water quality, water meters or plumbing equipment."
DEP employees who are authorized to enter homes must carry and show
photo I.D. cards and badges. Since impostors or others seeking access
may have some form of identification, it is important to make sure that
the I.D. card is from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
IMPORTANT FACTS FOR HOMEOWNERS:
Most water meters are read remotely from outside the home. DEP water
use inspectors, however, may seek access without appointments for
certain assignments, such as meter reading (if there is no remote
or it does not work) and inspecting installations or repairs performed
by DEP contractors.
DEP water use inspectors wear uniforms and carry photo I.D. cards.
Con Edison workers, who read water meters for DEP in all five boroughs,
also wear uniforms and carry identification.
Contractors installing water meters usually, but not always, make
appointments in advance, wear uniforms, carry photo I.D cards, and
drive trucks bearing company identification.
DEP air and noise inspectors and water quality investigators do
not wear uniforms, but they must carry and present photo I.D. cards
and DEP inspector badges. When doing tests in buildings and homes
at the request of citizens, they normally make appointments in advance.
DEP employees who respond to emergency situations, such as hazardous
material spills or leaks in water and sewer systems may need to gain
access to buildings or homes to determine the source of a leak. They
do not wear uniforms, but must carry and present photo I.D. cards
whenever requesting access to a residence or building.
No DEP employee is ever authorized to ask for cash money to perform
any service or for payment of past due bills.
IF CITIZENS BELIEVE THAT PERSONS ARE MISREPRESENTING THEMSELVES AS DEP
EMPLOYEES, THEY SHOULD PHONE THE LOCAL POLICE PRECINCT AND THE CITY’S
24-HOUR SERVICE LINE AT 311.