KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Scammers are already trying to take advantage of Parchment area residents told to stop drinking municipal water after state tests showed it contained extremely high levels of PFAS.
Kalamazoo Township police say some of the 3,200 residents in the affected water area have reported two men in a maroon SUV, going door to door trying to sell bogus PFAS test kits and filters.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller says his deputies were called by a Parchment area resident Friday morning, after the pair came to their door, offering a “test kit” for $1,000.
Fuller emphasizes there is no need to spend that kind of money on a water testing kit right now, because state and local health officials are already testing potentially impacted wells. Property owners whose wells draw from the same aquifer as the Parchment water system can request a water test by calling the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Service Department 269.373.5210.
“We also have heard that they’re (the scammers are) trying to sell filters. And according to the health department, the filters that they’re trying to sell do not take care of this situation,” Fuller said.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality warns there is no over-the-counter filters available to consumers that would reduce PFAS to levels the state has deemed safe.
Instead, residents of Parchment and Cooper Township who are hooked up to the Parchment municipal water system are encouraged to pick up bottled water until 8 p.m. Friday at Parchment High School, located at 1916 E. G Avenue. Water will also be available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Those who cannot get bottled water can arrange to have it delivered by calling 269.373.5346.
The sheriff doesn’t know if anyone bought into the scam.
Fuller says they’re searching for the suspect’s vehicle. Anyone who encounters the scammers should shut their door and contact police immediately.