FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE04-42
Issues Advisory to Homeowners in Greenpoint Section of Brooklyn
to Beware of Imposters Posing As “Water Department” Employees
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
cautioned residents of Greenpoint, Brooklyn 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
or read water meters. The 94th police precinct informed DEP that
these imposters had been allowed into a home where they stole valuables
from a 76 year old resident.
"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
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 94th Police Precinct
or the City’s 24-hour citizen service line at 311.