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Town Of Hempstead Supervisor Warns Residents About Water Scam

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray is warning residents about a water filtration system scam.

Some residents in East Meadow came home this week to find water testing kits hanging on their doorknobs with a note instructing them to fill up the containers with tap water so it can be tested to make sure it's safe.

Town Of Hempstead Residents Warned About Water Scam

Resident Frank Borrelli told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera that he thought the directive was from the town or county.

"It looked official," Borrelli said.

But then he read the fine print - the testing was offered by a company selling filtration systems.

"I said to myself, I'm going to test this water, they are going to say it's no good and try to sell me a thousand-dollar filter," said Borrelli, who also spoke with CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan.

"It makes me feel like I was being poisoned," East Meadow resident George Reimers told McLogan.

Town Of Hempstead Residents Warned About Water Scam

Murray said it's all part of a scam by a private company trying to scare residents into buying water filtration systems.

"By simply touching the vial cap, that will contaminate the sample, leading a homeowner to believe -- inaccurately and in a misleading way -- that they have unsafe water and that they should then take the step of buying the water filtration system," Murray said. "We want to make sure that nobody purchases a home water filtration system based upon this alleged testing."

She stresses that the town's water supply is safe.

"We also want to assure all of our neighbors that we have the safest water, it meets or exceeds all federal and state standards," Murray said.

Town of Hempstead Water Commissioner John Reinhart explained sampling vials like those that were left on residents' doors aren't legitimate.

"We perform 40,000 tests a year on the water by licensed water quality specialists. There are specific rules and regulations for testing procedures," Reinhart said.

The supervisor's office has contacted the New York State Attorney General's Office to conduct an investigation.

Barbara Dillard, a water specialist with New York Water Solutions, denies that the company is misleading consumers and insists their fliers clearly state that they are not affiliated with the government.

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