FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE05-11
Charles G. Sturcken
Issues Warning to Homeowners in the Bedford Stuyvesant Section
of Brooklyn to Beware Of Imposters Posing As “Water Department” Employees
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
has learned that an individual posing as a water department inspector
gained access to a home in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, claiming
the homeowner was in arrears in water bill payments. A young man
knocked on the door of the elderly resident and said he needed
access to the basement to “turn off the water.” He
was allowed entry and subsequently accepted a large amount of money
in payment from the homeowner to avoid disrupting her water service.
“Allowing unknown individuals into your home can have serious
consequences,” said Commissioner Emily Lloyd. Any
persons who identify themselves as being from DEP or
the water department, must either have made a previous appointment, which
you can confirm with DEP, or be able to provide
correct documentation. 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.”
IMORTANT FACTS FOR HOMEOWNERS TO PROTECT
THEMSELVES FROM IMPOSTERS WHO CLAIM THEY NEED TO INSPECT WATER
QUALITY, WATER METERS OR PLUMBING EQUIPMENT
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
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
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 OR 311.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE DEP WEBSITE AT WWW.NYC.GOV/DEP.