The notorious Brooklyn Union Maintenance, a group of alleged scam artists known for gaining access to homes in the area by claiming they need to make unsolicited repairs, may be getting some surprising visitors of their own soon.
According to Lois Booker-Williams, assistant state attorney general, her office is investigating reports of fraudulent activity by the group, which has traditionally targeted elderly residents. She said that they have subpoenaed one individual, but could not reveal their identity since it’s an ongoing case.
She said that there are signs to watch out for, such as requests for cash, and that she is interested in hearing from everyone who has had contact with the Brooklyn Union.
The con involves fake utility workers operating under the name Brooklyn Union Maintenance—a reference to the legitimate and now defunct Brooklyn Union Gas Company. Over the past two years there have been several reports of the mock-utility workers visiting homes for unannounced and unnecessary repairs.
Once they enter a home, the workers either damage equipment or perform mock inspections. They often ask for cash or higher payments up front for quick service—and then they disappear.
They have also been known to claim they work for National Grid, and perhaps, in the latest change, the New Jersey based Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), said Booker-Williams.
Booker-Williams said that anyone who feels they may be a target of a scam should report it to the Attorney General. Forms, and information on contractor scams, can be found at nyknowyourcontractor.com.
by David J. Harvey