Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #375 

Beware of Deception Burglaries


Deception Burglary - a burglary committed by a person(s) that gains entry to the home by posing as an employee of a particular company. This impersonation includes utility companies, delivery companies and construction companies such as plumbing or electrical contractors. A common explanation is "A pipe broke down the block and we have to check the water."  Once inside, the perpetrator(s) manipulate and distract a victim in order to obtain their valuables.


These crimes are often targeted at elderly victims during normal business hours (9am-5pm) making them less likely to question the situation. The Crime Prevention Section would like to share the following information to help avoid you becoming a victim of a deception burglary.  If someone comes to your door offering work inside your home and you were never contacted in advance or requested such work:

  • Don't open the door, or let them in.
  • Verify his/her I.D. through the view finder
  • Contact the company to verify employee's I.D. (company numbers could be looked up via internet or on your bill)
  • Keep a list of utility companies phone numbers in a convenient location
  • To verify DEP water company issues, call 311 
  • To verify Con Edison, call 1-800-752-6633
  • Do not invite anyone into your home while you verify a "work order" and person at your door
  • If you can't verify the I.D., you feel unsafe or suspect criminal activity, do not hesitate call 911 immediately


*REMEMBER* - NEVER give out any financial information, especially:

  • Social Security Number
  • Credit card information
  • Bank account information