This is to compliment Stuyvesant Town Public Safety Department and specifically Officer Brooks and the Public Safety Officers who were sent to my aid upon request. Also, this is an alert to your readership.
With illegal calls from the “supposed IRS” and recent alerts about phony Con Edison representatives making rounds, both scams having had been brought to my attention by Town & Village, there is another concern that I would like to share with our neighbors.
Last week, a would-be inspector from the Department of Buildings rang me from the intercom downstairs and wanted me to let him in to inspect my apartment. I advised him I had not requested his visit, I did not know who he was, if he had authority to inspect my apartment I should not have to buzz him in, and I would not do so.
Within minutes, he was ringing my bell and again I told him I would not let him in without a management escort. I immediately called Public Safety and spoke with Officer Brooks, who stayed on the phone with me while sending two Public Safety officers to come and escort the man into my apartment. Though this man had ID, it could have been fake.
Though he supposedly had had a complaint, it was not applicable to my apartment. He spent less than a minute in my apartment.
I want to thank Officer Brooks who was very thoughtful, staying on the line with me, the Public Safety Officers who responded so quickly and efficiently, and especially management for providing us with a safe environment.
Also, I wanted to alert all tenants to not ever open their door to someone uninvited and to call Public Safety at (212) 598-5233 for an escort for “the visitor” if there is ever any doubt that someone has authority to enter their apartment.
Throughout this week, a few readers of Town & Village alerted us to the fact that an overseas phone scam, in which the callers pretend to be from the IRS while threatening people with lawsuits or even arrest, had returned to the Stuy Town/Peter Cooper neighborhood.
One of the readers, a Stuy Town senior, told T&V the calls had even seemed to get more aggressive because they’ve become more frequent — annoying her five times in a span of three days.
“They keep saying this is my final warning. I wish it would be,” she fumed. “It’s very threatening. It’s 8-9 in the morning.”
While the resident said she thought the call sounded ridiculous, like others who called us, she was more concerned about others who might get frightened by the mention of the IRS. “Maybe some people will still get scared and send them money,” she said.
Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Attendance at the first 13th Precinct Community Council meeting of 2016 was surprisingly high considering the event was on Tuesday, a bitterly cold evening.
But residents who live on First Avenue at East 18th Street above Visana, the relatively new pizza place that becomes a lounge at night, were motivated by what they complained is excess noise.
There have already been a couple of community council meetings in recent months to complain about the noise from this space. One resident was at the meeting this week with similar complaints, noting that on one recent evening, it was particularly loud because a party bus was parked in front of the establishment.
Owner David Jaffee, who has said previously that he wants to work with the community to resolve any ongoing issues, was at the meeting and said that this was the first time that there has been a party bus parked outside the business. Jaffee argued that he and his business partner are responsive to residents in the area but he noted that the resident who was at the meeting never reached out to him at the time to complain about the issue.
“We try to be proactive,” he said. “I went outside and spoke to the driver but the driver refused to move.”
But the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, who has held meetings with Jaffee on this issue in the past, wasn’t satisfied with the owner’s attempts to mitigate the noise problems.
Earlier this week, a Peter Cooper Village resident received a robo-call that supposedly came from the Internal Revenue Service. The mechanical female voice that came through his answering machine informed the resident that he was being sued. To get more information about the legal action, the resident was instructed to call a number that appeared to be from a line in Washington state.
A day after the man shared this story with a neighbor, Marcia Robinson, Robinson received an eerily similar call, this one with a number that appeared to be local to Washington, DC. She then phoned a neighbor in her building to tell her about it, and that neighbor informed Robinson that she too had been contacted with the same message, and believed it was a scam.
“None of us called back,” said Robinson. Their caution was fortunate, since, according to a spokesperson for the IRS, such calls are indeed a scam, and one that is being run with more and more frequency, nation-wide.
IRS rep Patricia Svarnas explained, “It’s a huge scam going on right now and it’s one of our biggest issues.”
While the perpetrators are unknown, what is known is that they are overseas, using technology to alter their caller ID. The numbers will appear to be local, usually from Washington, DC, “to make it look official.”