When times get tough for the general public, they also get tough for the average criminal who will do whatever it takes to keep his or her income stream alive — including impersonating a city or county worker assigned to test water quality in a residential neighborhood.
Recently police have received a number of reports mentioning fake county workers asking residents in Forsyth County, Georgia to allow them access to their homes supposedly for ‘official business’ involving water related matters.
Just north of Atlanta in Forsyth County, authorities are warning people about a situation that could prove either physically or financially dangerous. While they are not saying what the motives of these people are when they come to doors there; they are warning people that the county never conducts business in the manner in which these imposters are suggesting.
Since little is known at this time, people in surrounding counties and in Atlanta should also be aware since it is not know how far and wide this scam may be. If you have grave suspicion that something is awry, phone 911 immediately.
The officials have received several calls where individuals posing as water department employees in which they say they need entrance into the house to test the water.
Again it is not clear if how these imposters make appointments either at the front door or by phone, it is well advised to not let any stranger into your home. Apparently some have been contacted by phone to set up an appointment.
Living in the perilous times that we do, it is always important to keep your guard up. Always question any utility – gas, water, phone, etc. if you did not contact them.
The Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department says they never solicit over the telephone and residents should be leery of anyone contacting residents; especially if they did not initiate the contact.
Citizens of the county are being advised not to give any personal information to those inquiring.
Forsyth County Director of Water and Sewer Tim Perkins said. “Most all of our work can be accomplished outside the home.”
At any time when strangers approach your home, be cautious and always ask for valid identification no matter who they are – and for whatever reason they have approached your home even if you made the appointment. But also be advised that some crime groups are sophisticated these days and can reproduce false ID.
It is not known if these potential criminals are operating only in Forsyth County or in surrounding counties as well. Always err on the side of caution. As the old adage goes, “better safe than sorry.” ( source )
PUBLIC SAFETY TIP: Under NO circumstances should you ever allow a stranger into your home unless they can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that they have legitimate credentials and reason to enter your home. As a general rule, if the County, City or State really DID need access to your home, they would have called and written you well in advance of showing up on your doorstep.
Additionally, as the article stated, most of the tasks any County, City or State personnel would need to accomplish would take place outside your home and they would have no reason to ever go inside your home.
Variation of the Scam
Some of us here at the Water Testing Blog have heard about shady water treatment companies sending their sales resp out into neighborhoods with instruction to tell residents that the City or County sent them out to conduct a test of the home’s water. Once inside, the salesperson would ‘prove’ that the water contained all sorts of dangerous ‘stuff’ and more or less refuse to leave until the homeowner, usually an elderly person, signed up to buy an expensive, overpriced, and/or totally unnecessary, water treatment system.
PUBLIC SAFETY TIP: Reputable water treatment system salespeople will not show up on your doorstep and city/county workers out to perform testing will not EVER attempt to sell you a water treatment system.
Need a Safe Way to Get Your Water Tested?
For those that feel they may need to have their water tested, but do not want to have a stranger in their home that might hit them with a high pressure sales pitch at the end of the test, other options exist:
At-home drinking water test kits from SenSafe and WaterSafe provide fast results for basic water quality tests and submit-by-mail water quality test kits analyzed by a certified drinking water quality testing laboratory such as National Testing Laboratories provide a highly detailed water quality report in about a week or two.