Water Department says someone is impersonating a contractor to sell filtration devices

Long Beach officials are warning that someone is impersonating a Water Department contractor and trying to sell filtration devices by claiming there’s something wrong with the city’s tap water.

There’s nothing wrong with the city’s water, the Long Beach Water Department said in a public notice on Wednesday. And they asked residents to be wary of anyone claiming to be a vendor for the department.

In this case, one reason to be skeptical is that “in some instances, it seems the impersonator is traveling using a hoverboard,” the Water Department said in a tweet. “We will arrive in a marked vehicle or on foot and will always present a photo ID.”

General Manager Chris Garner said the Water Department has not hired anyone to go door-to-door selling filtration devices and that Long Beach’s tap water is safe to drink.

Garner said that, so far, he believes it’s only one person going door-to-door, but the department has not been able to get the name of the company the impersonator is promoting or where he is getting the filtration devices he’s trying to sell. Garner said he hopes the public can provide more information soon.

“Maybe it’s just some rogue salesperson,” Garner said. “It sounds like it’s a legit business in the sense that he is trying to sell something. He doesn’t seem to be trying to gain access to the house for any other reason.”

Long Beach Police Department spokesperson Brandon Fahey said the LBPD is not aware of any crime reports regarding a man impersonating a city vendor, but he urged the public to report any suspicious activity to police.

Garner added that his department would never go to a resident’s home without advanced notice and advised people to ask anyone who claims to work for the city for a badge with a name and picture on it.

“We want people to always be diligent,” Garner said. “If you have any suspicion that it may not be legit, don’t let them into your house.”

Residents can call 562-570-2300 to verify whether someone is actually working on behalf of the Water Department. And they can report any suspicious activity to Long Beach police by calling the non-emergency dispatch line at 562-435-6711.

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Fernando Haro is the Long Beach Post's breaking news and public safety reporter.
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