FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE04-08
Issues Advisory To Homeowners in Glendale, Middle Village, Ridgewood and
Maspeth, Queens To Beware Of Imposters Posing as “Water Department”
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) cautioned
residents of Middle Village, Ridgewood, Maspeth and Glendale that imposters
posing as DEP or “Water Department” employees have been attempting
to gain access to homes by claiming they need to check water pressure.
The 104th Precinct Crime Prevention Unit informed DEP that these imposters
had been allowed into a home where they stole $1,500.
"These people are not employees of DEP or its contractors, “said
Commissioner Christopher O. Ward. “Accordingly, we have outlined
precautions that citizens should take to protect themselves from impostors
who claim they need to inspect leaks, water pressure, 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.
If you are unsure or do not have a specific appointment, you may confirm
entry to your home by calling (718) 595-6600 to confirm.
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.
In some emergency situations, material spills or leaks in water and
sewer systems, DEP may need to gain access to buildings or homes to
determine the source of a leak. They do not always wear uniforms. If
you do not have an appointment and want to confirm that DEP needs access
to your home, call (718) 595-6600. DEP employees who respond to emergency
situations, such as hazardous materials also must carry and present
photo I.D. cards whenever requesting access to a residence or building.
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.
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 104th police precinct in Queens
or the City’s 24-hour service line at 311.