How to Avoid a Water Treatment Scam

Water treatment scams are on the rise for the second time in Florida, despite decade-old efforts to crack down on swindlers. Scam artists like Jonathan Yacketta use false scare tactics to trick elderly women and other vulnerable people into buying expensive water treatments, claiming that their water is toxic and undrinkable. But Florida is not the only victim. Water treatment scams are common all over the world. You may recall a post we did a few months ago on a South Korean professor charged with fraud after claiming to invent a device that could turn regular tap water into “holy water.” (Professor Kim’s water treatment scam earned him over $1 million before he was finally arrested.)

So how do you avoid becoming the victim of a water scam? Here are five simple actions to ensure that neither you, nor your 83-year-old grandmother, get swindled:

1. Avoid contact with door-to-door water treatment salespeople.

2. Avoid unsolicited offers for a free water test. Instead, consider purchasing one of our drinking water test kits.

3. If concerned, have your water tested by a certified laboratory.

4. Don’t fall for the bottled water scam! Most bottled water is nothing more than filtered tap.

And last, but not least…

According to a recent article in Tampa Bay Online:

“Most dealers in the $3 billion-a-year industry, its representatives say, are honest sellers of equipment for removing chlorine and minerals and softening water from public utilities or private wells. They say rogue operations selling equipment at inflated prices through scare tactics and misleading information are the exception.”

I’m sure all of our customers could testify to the fact that we are the exception, rather than the rule. So, here is our final piece of advice:

5. When in doubt, buy your water filters from

Brita, Bottled, or ‘Blessed’

South Korean professor Kim is charged with fraud after inventing a device that he claimed could turn regular tap water into blessed “holy water,” which replicates the healing powers of the holy water located at the Catholic Virgin Mary shrine at Lourdes, in France. Kim’s scientific method involves turning the medical properties of the real holy water into digital signals and transferring these signals onto any tap water via his device which features ceramic and paper filters and plastic cords.

Kim sold around 5,000 of these devices to people in Seoul, Korea with various ailments, and made about $1.3 million before his victims went to the police and turned him in for fraud. (That’s $260 per machine.)

I don’t know what’s worse: Professor Kim’s fake device, or using bottled water for Baptism.

Alternatively, if you want clean tap water, you could always invest in a Brita water  filter. It won’t bring healing powers to your water, but it will filter out the stuff that may have caused some of the ailments suffered by Kim’s victims. After this experience, however, Seoul residents will probably be reluctant to purchase anything that claims to purify tap water for a long time.