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Fake ‘vermin control’ letters demanding payment sent to NYC residents

NEW YORK — The New York City Health Department has alerted New York City residents to a scam involving fake pest control violation notices.

Several residents have received fake notices issued by “Vermin Control of New York” which look like official Health Department documents and bear a signature from a former Department of Buildings Commissioner, according to a news release.

A copy of a fake "vermin control" letter sent to residents. (NYC Department of Health)

A copy of a fake “vermin control” letter sent to residents. (NYC Department of Health)

These notices demand a payment between $120 and $280 to be mailed to 1255 150th St. Whitestone, NY for alleged “assessment and eradication of vermin.”

They were sent via U.S. mail and printed on fake NYC Health Department letterhead. They claim to originate from the “Rodent Control Program Assessment” and demand immediate payment for assessment and then eradication of vermin within the resident’s living space.

The notices also claim that the payment “cannot be contested or challenged” once it has been sent to the “vermin control” department.

Anyone who receives the fake notice should immediately call 311.

The Health Department is investigating the fake notices and has referred the matter to the City’s Department of Investigation.

“New Yorkers should know that the Health Department never issues a notice of violation demanding immediate payment,” said Assistant Commissioner for Pest Control Services Mario Merlino in a news release. “Our notices of violation allow New York City residents to address any violations and they can be contested at an official hearing. We ask New Yorkers to immediately contact 311 or the Health Department if they have received a letter from ‘Vermin Control of New York;’ with their help we can stop these tactics.”