Carlsbad residents on alert after calls of water distict scam

Carlsbad residents on alert after calls of water distict scam
The Carlsbad Municipal Water District and police department are warning customers to verify the identity of any individual who claims to be testing water quality. Photo by Steve Puterski

CARLSBAD — Concerned residents and the Carlsbad Municipal Water District are on alert after the district received several calls about a possible scam recently.

Mario Remillard, meter and customer services supervisor for the district, said one caller was approached by someone attempting to gain access to their home to conduct a water check. When asked for identification, however, the man produced a card and quickly left.

Remillard said there is no reason for district staff to enter a resident’s home unless they were requested to conduct a water safety test. Even then, CWMD employees have numerous methods to prove their legitimacy should they be asked by a resident, he added.

They include a city vehicle parked nearby, uniform, city and district emblems on the uniforms, city ID card and business cards.

“We generally have no need to go into people’s homes,” Remillard said. “The only time that we would go in is if they have a water quality complaint. That’s free, we don’t charge for our services. Nobody should be testing your water except for the water district.”

City officials, meanwhile, are reminding residents to use caution when approached by solicitors offering to test their home’s water safety, even if they claim to represent a water district or the city, he added.

According to a press release, the Carlsbad Police Department said residents should not feel pressured to commit to services offered by solicitors, whether by phone or in person. CPD recommends to check first to ensure the company is legitimate.

In addition, CPD also said to be wary of anyone claiming to be a representative of the city or the water district. Get the person’s name, company name and phone number.

Then, call the company or agency they imply they represent directly using the phone number from your bill or their website. Verify the company is doing work in your area and the name and number of the person that called.

Then, and only if it is legitimate, call the person back to make an appointment. Schedule the appointment for a time when someone can be at home with you.

There is safety in numbers, the CPD statement said, and never leave the person alone or unattended in your home.

Also, residents should check their bill and company website for advance notices of work in an area

To verify if someone is representing the Carlsbad Municipal Water District, call (760) 439-2722. If residents feel there is an immediate safety threat, call 9-1-1.

If it is an outside company offering to provide services in your home, thoroughly check out the company before making an appointment. If you are interested in this type of service, do your own research and choose a company based on your findings.

“Contractors sometimes scare residents by claiming their water is not safe and then ask to come into their homes to test it,” said Carlsbad Municipal Water District Utility Manager Richard Williamson.

According to Williamson, the Carlsbad Municipal Water District publishes an annual water quality report with detailed information about the safety of the drinking water supply, compiled according to strict standards issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The water district is currently in compliance with all water monitoring requirements and water quality standards.

For more information about preventing crime, call the CPD Crime Prevention Office at (760) 931-2105.

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