TENAFLY, N.J. – Thanks to a quick-acting neighbor, Tenafly police nabbed an “unscrupulous” hustler who got into a resident’s home by pretending to work for PSE&G, authorities said Thursday.
It turned out that 37-year-old Donald Hill of East Orange works for a marketing company hired by an alternative utility provider, Capt. Michael deMoncada said.
Hill had been soliciting door-to-door for Dynamic Marketing of Newark,”purposely giving people the impression that he worked for PSE&G” and then telling them once he got in the door that they could lower their tax bills if they switched providers, deMoncada said.
Thanks to the call from a Hemlock Lane resident, police got to the neighborhood in time Wednesday night and caught Hill trying to hustle another homeowner, the captain said.
They also found him carrying a small amount of marijuana, for which he was charged along with soliciting without a permit.
Hill was released pending a court hearing as deMoncada’s detectives continued an investigation.
The captain, meanwhile, urged residents who believe they might have been scammed to contact their utility companies “to ensure that your billing information and service agreement haven’t been compromised.”
“Additionally, we want to remind everyone to verify the identity of anyone purporting to be an employee of a utility company before allowing them to enter your home,” he said.
“Real utility company employees are aware of these types of scams, and will wear highly visible identification and encourage you to contact your respective utility company to verify their identity and purpose for coming to your home,” deMoncada said.
He also noted that all “for profit” door-to-door solicitors in Tenafly are required to register with the Police Department and carry a photo identification card and solicitation permit.
“We encourage all residents to please call [local police] if you believe a solicitor is not properly registered or if you believe someone is making false claims of employment to trick you into allowing them into your home.
“In this case, we were lucky to be alerted to the individual and find him before he was able to do any harm.”
NOTE: Daily Voice was trying to obtain a photograph of Hill.