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Newport Beach PD Warns of Water Scam

If someone offers a free water quality test courtesy the city, don't believe it.

Photo courtesy the Newport Beach Police Department.
Photo courtesy the Newport Beach Police Department.
From the Newport Beach Police Department:

On May 15, 2014, a Newport Beach resident received a call from a friendly lady who said she was following up with the resident to see if she would be interested in receiving a FREE Water Quality Test. The caller claimed that her company was offering the testing FREE of charge and that the city of Newport Beach would be covering all costs.  The caller also mentioned that the resident might have seen this FREE offer in her last water billing statement. The caller informed the resident that the water analyst would only take about 15 minutes, and that the company currently had technicians in the area. The caller provided the resident with the technician’s number to schedule an appointment and the call ended.  A follow up call to the number provided by the “company” rang to a business not affiliated with water quality testing.

The resident followed up with the City’s Water Customer Service Supervisor, who verified that the City has not partnered with an outside company to conduct a FREE in-home water quality test and that the water billing insert never referenced the company or the FREE offer.  If you receive a similar call, please hang-up on the caller this is not a legitimate offer.

The following information is provided by the Federal Trade Commission to help prevent you from falling victim to a scam artist.

Avoid "free" home water tests. Offers to test the tap water in your home for free are almost always part of a sales promotion. More important, in-home testing does not provide the specific, in-depth analysis that is required to determine if your water needs treatment and what kind of system is suited to your needs.

Be wary of claims of government approval. The government does not endorse water tests or water treatment products. If you see an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration number on a water treatment product label, it merely means that the manufacturer has registered its products with the EPA. A registration number does not mean the EPA has tested or approved the product. 

If your water really is contaminated, the next step is to determine what type of system you need to treat the water. A wide variety of water treatment devices are available, ranging from relatively simple, low-cost filter devices for faucets to sophisticated and expensive systems that treat water from its point of entry into your home. No water treatment device can solve every problem. Some systems only soften water by removing calcium and magnesium, while others eliminate virtually all minerals and foreign matter present in the water.

To learn more, contact the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or visitDrinking Water.

http://water.epa.gov/drink/index.cfm

For more information on various scams, please click on the link below to be connected to theFTC’s SCAM ALERT page.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/archive/201405

Rick Allen May 16, 2014 at 01:29 PM
So sad that a few people in our Water Treatment Industry choose nefarious methods of marketing. The many legitimate companies in our line of work provide valuable services and help people to live healthier and more convenient lifestyles. I sincerely hope the people behind this scam are not only stopped from continuing, but are sanctioned accordingly.
Margaret Nancy O'Donell May 18, 2014 at 11:50 PM
I have received this phone call and made the appointment before this story was on the news and in the papers. I was unsure about following through with the appointment but I was never mislead to believe they were from the water district. She identified herself as being an independent water filtration company and gave me the background of the company. I did follow through with the appointment with my husband present. I asked for complete and proper identification. I wanted proof of license and proof that the company was bonded. A plumbers license is also required to install water filtration systems. He brought all identification and licenses. I was very pleased with the technician as he was the owner of the company. His systems were what I was looking for and were well priced. Bottom line, telemarketing may not be the best way to market your company but is not a scam. My alkaline system was installed next day service with no extra charge.

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