We have written about this sort of thing in the past and we will probably write about it many more times in our lifetime… Phony state/county/government representatives going door-to-door claiming they need to test residents’ water, finding a problem, and then pushing additional water testing and/or water purification products on homeowners.
This time some scandalous louts have targeted the Ontario, California area with their lowdown scheme.
Ontario police are warning residents about a scam involving water quality testing.
Several residents have reported incidents where individuals come to their door claiming to be from different government agencies, according to a police news release.
The first report came in June 10, said Suzanne Thomas, crime prevention specialist with the Police Department.
“This woman had gone to this one house and was trying to force these people to purchase a water quality kit,” Thomas said. “This didn’t just happen once, this has happened several times.”
The suspects have documents that appear official, according to the release. Those documents claim the home’s water must be tested for lead or other chemicals. If the homeowner allows the suspect to test the water, the suspect finds it to be contaminated.
The person claiming to be a government agent will then tell the homeowner they must purchase a water purification kit. Reports state the suspects claim water purification is “mandatory for health.”
Ontario police say scam artists often pose as government employees. Homeowners should call the agency of any person who comes to their door, according to the release.
Police also advise residents never to let anyone into their home without first verifying the person’s identity.
According to the Ontario Utilities/Solid Waste Department, the city’s water meets all drinking water standards and is safe without any additional treatment.
Information about city water is available by calling 909-395-2678.
To report suspicious activity, call the Ontario Police Department at 909-986-6711. ( source )
We find using scare tactics to intimidate homeowners, usually elderly homeowners, appalling and think anyone participating in them needs a good, swift caning… or at the very least a lengthy jail sentence during which they can learn firsthand what the terms ‘scared’ and ‘intimidated’ really mean.
- As a general rule, no agent of local, state or federal government will drop by on a random day asking to test your water unless you have received written, verifiable (by phone book, 411, etc.) notification well in advance of anyone showing up on your doorstep w/ a water test kit.
- IF you feel inclined to entertain the stranger at your door, keep the door locked, ask for ID, look up the agency the person works for in the phone book or by calling 411, and verify the validity of the person’s story. Do NOT call a number THEY give as a means of verification since good scam artists will have one or more scam-buddies with phones ready and waiting to field your call and vouch for person at your door.
- No representative of the local water company will try to sell you a water filter system. Period.
- Official looking uniforms, paperwork, badges and appearances mean NOTHING when it comes to proving a random person at your door’s identity. If scam artists can print fake money and reproduce famous pieces of art, then they can surely also print ID badges, generate phony letterhead, and have government/company shirts made.
And last but not least, if you have your water tested regularly by a certified water testing lab such as National Testing Labs and/or perform at-home testing on a semi-regular basis, you will have plenty of information about your water already at your fingertips and can tell the person at your door to politely “go away” before closing the door in their face.
Why? Because ANY water emergency since your last test date great enough to warrant door-to-door testing would have appeared in newspapers, on the television, etc.
Contaminants scam artists may use as reasons for testing
… and as you can see, you can test for them yourSELF — which means they DON’T need access to your home. If tests come up positive, then YOU can call the water department yourself and officially request that someone come out and test your water.