A statement was made by assistant commissioner Mario Merlino alerting new yorkers about a “vermin control of new york” letter scam.
New York City Health Department Assistant Commissioner for Pest Control and Veterinary Services Mario Merlino today alerted New York City residents about a scam involving fake pest control violation notices issued by “Vermin Control of New York.” These fraudulent notices look like they are issued by the Health Department and are signed by a former Department of Buildings Commissioner. The notice demands payment for alleged “assessment and eradication of vermin” in the amount of $120. The Health Department is investigating these notices and has referred the matter to the City’s Department of Investigation. Any New Yorker receiving a notice should immediately contact 311.
“Unscrupulous people are mailing fraudulent violation notices acting as the Health Department’s Division of Pest Control,” said Assistant Commissioner for Pest Control Services Mario Merlino. “New Yorkers should know that the Health Department never issues a notice of violation demanding immediate payment. 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.”
In this particular scam, a letter from the “Vermin Control of New York” is sent via U.S. mail to an unsuspecting property owner. The notice is printed on a fake NYC Health Department letterhead and claims to originate from “Rodent Control Program Assessment.” The letter requests immediate payment for specified amounts ranging from $120 through $280 to be mailed to “Vermin Control of New York” at 1255 150th Street, Whitestone, NY 11357. The notice also says “This violation cannot be contested or challenged.”
A notice of violation cannot result in a fine or penalty without there being an opportunity to contest it in a hearing. Further, the Health Department never requests that it, or its programs, be paid directly for violations it issues. A copy of a fraudulent notice of violation can be found below.
We ask the public to be alert to this scam.