Civic leader Ed Wendell posted the following to Facebook on February 7: “One of our residents alerts us that the chimney and roof scammers are around again – be sure to read about them and warn your neighbors, especially the elderly who are often the targets of these scams.” February is early for these seasonal scammers to be around, but we had a warm spell that month which gave them a window to spring into action. Please do not fall prey to these con artists. They will approach you unsolicited and 1) pretend they noticed a problem on your roof 2) offer you a “discounted” price to fix it if you pay them in cash 3) pretend to place sealant on your roof and you will be none the wiser until someone actually goes up there. They prey on the elderly because many of them have limited mobility and can’t verify the condition of the roof or that the work was done. If you think you may have been scammed, notify the 104th Precinct immediately. They have had some success in tracking down the thieves in the past and obtaining full or partial refunds.

We received another report of a scam, this time from Middle Village. “This person calls my parents’ house three times today, says his name is Carlo and works for DEP and he even gave a call back number of 718-650-75XX. The 3rd time he even spoke Italian to them! He told my father that he's responding to a 311 call that my father placed and he'll be over soon to fix a sewer problem and to have $1k ready. The problem is, my father never called 311, my parents don't have a sewer issue, and it was all a scam. Carlo doesn't work for DEP.” No one from the City will ever call you to tell you they are coming over and to have cash waiting for them. If you fell victim to this scam, please contact the 104th Precinct.