Be Cautious Who You Let In

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Be careful who you let into your house to inspect your boiler, heater, or chimney.  There is a company going around using language which leads you to believe they are from your friendly utility company, but they are not.  And the resulting work can cost in the thousands of dollars — and they are working Woodhaven right now.

We have had a few reports of Woodhaven residents getting phone calls from a company telling you that your chimney or heating system is due for an inspection.  The name on the Caller ID may look official — for example, it may say “Brooklyn Union” — but you need to remember that Brooklyn Union Gas no longer exists.

Typically, they will make an appointment, tell you that you need lots of work (totaling thousands of dollars) — and they are hoping that because you believe they’re the utility company, you’ll go along with their prognosis.  These companies prey on the elderly, especially those who are alone.

Do not fall for this — and spread the word to your friends and neighbors!

This sort of thing has been reported on in the media recently (see here and here) but the WRBA feels that it’s very important that we get the word out in Woodhaven.

What can you do to protect yourself?  Never make an appointment right away.  Take the callers information and check with your utility company.  Their number will be on your monthly utility bill.

Again — we are getting calls from residents saying that they are getting these calls now — so we know they are working Woodhaven.

Be very careful who you let into your home to do work — check with your utility company — check for ID — take your time and think about what your doing.  Do not let anyone pressure you into signing anything.

If you do have such an encounter — and you do not feel it was legitimate — please contact the Woodhaven Residents Block Association — E-mail us at info@woodhaven-nyc.org or call us at 718-296-3735.  We are talking to our local elected officials and they are talking to the AG’s office to see what can be done.

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