Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fake Con Ed worker-scam migrated to Queens from the Bronx

Remember when people posing as Con Ed workers scammed a handful of Bronxites last year?

Well, one politician is trying to remind people of the scam in hopes it doesn't happen again. Only...it's not a Bronx pol. 

Queens state Senator Tony Avella is out with a press release warning homeowners to not let anyone inside if they're not positive they're from Con Ed.

According to the release, scammers in Queens normally call from “Brooklyn Gas” or “Brooklyn Union Maintenance” companies to schedule “overdue” inspections. Once inside, the so-called inspectors convince the homeowner that emergency repairs need to be conducted immediately and convince their victims to pay for the work in advance.

In the Bronx, the workers would just steal things straight from the house. 

“Unfortunately it is easy to see why people would fall for this sort of scam,” Avella said. “Today homeowners are faced with numerous inspections and fines for things they don’t even realize are their responsibility. Scams like these prey on that lack of knowledge and allow con artists to take advantage of unassuming homeowners that want to follow the rules."

Jump below for the rest of the story.

Earlier this year, Avella was contacted by a constituent whose mother became a victim of this scam. After scheduling an appointment over the phone, an inspector by the name of “Dylan” arrived at the constituent’s home and stated that he was a Brooklyn Union Maintenance Company representative from National Grid. He proceeded to look at a chimney in the basement of the home and stated that an emergency repair was required in order to prevent an explosion. Naturally, the constituent agreed to the repair in order to prevent the possibility of an explosion and paid the representative a total of $1,350 for the repairs. Not only were the repairs never finished, the representatives left the basement in total shambles, costing the constituent a lot more money to fix the mess left behind. 

In a similar case, Diane Capeta was contacted by an individual from “Brooklyn Union Maintenance” group. Capeta was informed that this group operates under National Grid and that they are licensed by the State to take carbon monoxide readings inside the home every 18 months. Fortunately, Capeta became very suspicion and called National Grid, who informed her that they have never heard of the Maintenance group. She refused to make any appointments and contacted Avella’s office. 

“I was immediately suspicion and felt that us elderly are being preyed upon, as usual,” said Capeta. “But Senator Avella’s office has been wonderful and very attentive to my case. Ever since they forwarded this matter to the Attorney General, I have not received any call backs. Unfortunately, people like to prey on other people, especially with the economy being what it is. People will always try to make a dollar but doing it dishonestly is very wrong.” 

The Senator has been in direct contact with the Offices of the District Attorney and the Attorney General regarding this fraudulent activity. Both offices are currently investigating the matter.

Avella concluded, “It is imperative that any individual who receives this phone call immediately contact their gas or electric provider regarding any required inspections before agreeing to appointments."

No comments:

Post a Comment