NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– A fake pest control violation letter is circulating in the city and its asking its recipients to pay up big bucks.
On Friday, Henry Gelfand received the official looking letter claiming to be from the City of New York.READ MORE: COVID Impact: Jersey City Schools In-Person Learning Back On, But Some Parents Have Concerns About Phased-In Approach
“They’re using the city logo on top, they’re using the city logo on the bottom,” Gelfand said told CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco.
Only problem? It’s not the city who sent the letter. The notice, which is printed on a fake New York City Department letter head, claims to be from the “Rodent Control Program Assessment.”
The letter demands immediate payment for an unspecified violation ranging from $120 to $280, to be mailed to “Vermin Control of New York.”
“The property address is missing, the lot number is missing, all the information that should be provided in a violation is missing,” Gelfand said. The letter reads “this violation cannot be contested or challenged.”
“Isn’t there something in this country called due process?” Gelfand said.READ MORE: Earth Day: Going Vertical In Newark, Innovative AeroFarms Grows More With Less
CBS2 went to the address listed on the letter, 12-55 150th Street in Whitestone, Queens. It’s a multi-unit building and there’s no sign of “Vermin Control of New York.”
There is a mailing center and perhaps that’s where the scammer is having the checks sent. CBS2 called the number listed on the letter and got a busy tone.
“People get afraid and the first thing they’re gonna do is pay,” Gelfand said.
New York City Councilmember Mark Levine (D-7th) is warning New Yorkers to be on the lookout.
“You make your checks out to the City of New York– if you get a letter saying to make it out to an agency, a private company or something called ‘Vermin Control’ that should be a red flag,” he said.
Officials are also urging recipients to call 311 before sending money to scammers.MORE NEWS: MTA At Odds With NYPD Over Response To Subway Crime As More People Return To Public Transit