The Belleville, N.J., Police Department is warning residents to watch out for scammers selling water filters that cost as much as $12,000.
Earlier this year, tap water samples in the township showed elevated lead levels above the allowable federal threshold. Belleville purchases its water from Newark, which was discovered to have lead in its water since 2017.
“Belleville Police were made aware of a few incidents in which aggressive sales people knock on our residents doors claiming to either work for the state or the town of Belleville. These sales people may or may not be from legitimate companies, they are certainly not employed by the town or state,” the police department posted in a warning on its Facebook page.
In another Facebook post, Mayor Michael Melham said the salespeople may be targeting the Hispanic community in Belleville.
Authorities have issued a summons to one of the sales people for soliciting without a permit, according to NJ Advance Media. Belleville police posed as homeowners earlier in November. A saleswoman told these officials every faucet in the home needed a filter and would cost $12,000.
6,000 old lead pipes are leaching lead into Newark’s drinking water, reported NJ Advance Media. Approximately 40,000 residents consume Newark water in Belleville. Corrosion control will take full effect later this year as a way to create a protective coating.
Police caution homeowners of common sales tactics, such as using drops to dilute or discolor the water before insisting the need for filtration devices.
Residents can call the town to get their water tested at 973-450-3390.