We recently came across an article about the police and mayor of Belleville, New Jersey, warning residents about door-to-door water testing scammers.
Detectives posing as homeowners said that a woman tried to tell them that they would need a filter system for every faucet in the house and that it would cost them around $12,000. They also observed that the salespeople were very aggressive and were claiming to work for the township or the state.
Belleville is one of the many towns in New Jersey that have experience lead in their drinking water.
We decided to do some research about door-to-door water testing scams and here is what we found:
The Many Ways of a Scammer:
- Beware of the different ways you can be scammed:
- Door-to-Door: Salesman telling you that they will test your water for you. If they are being pushy about testing your water, claiming to work for the government or do not have a permit, these are all signs of scams.
- Tablets or Droplet Tests: Some representatives may add tablets or drops to your water and tell you that if it changes color, it’s contaminated. The truth is, they could be adding anything to the water to get you to buy their water treatment system.
- By mail or by phone: A company might not even come to your home or ask to test your water. They may send you a test tube that you must send in and then they might call you and offer you a water purifier as part of a larger promotion.
Avoid FREE Home Water Tests:
- Not all companies offer legitimate water tests. If a company is advertising a “free home water test” the truth is they might be trying to sell you an expensive water system whether you need it or not.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns people to avoid “free” in-home water tests.
Disregard Government, Water Quality Association Claims and/or EPA Registration:
- If a company claims to be working for the government (state or local) this is a sales tactic. The government does not endorse water tests or water treatment products.
- If you see an Environmental Protection Agency registration number, this does not mean that it has been tested or approved by the EPA.
- In 2017, the Water Quality Association (WQA) put out a statement calling out scammers who were claiming to work for them. “The Water Quality Association does not solicit door-to-door period.”
Here’s what you can do to make sure that you are not scammed by door-to-door water testers:
- Do not let salespeople inside your home.
- If they are attempting to solicit you for something, they must have permits and be easily identifiable.
- If you suspect a salesperson does not have a sales permit, is using deception or strong sales tactics, or makes you feel uncomfortable, please contact the authorities.
If you are interested in having a water test done in your home, here are a few safe ways to have your water tested:
- Order an at-home water test kit here.
- Have your water tested by a state-certified lab (WQA recommendation)
- You can search for Information for Certification Programs and Certified Laboratories for Drinking Water here.
- Water treatment products that have been third-party certified (WQA recommendation)
- You can search for WQA-Certified Treatment Products here.
We hope that this blog post helps you identify door-to-door water testing scams and ways you can avoid them.
Have you been a victim of a door-to-door water test? How did you know it was a scam?