Ever wonder if you are truly getting that full gallon of gas or if that pound of deli meat is truly a full pound? With every transaction involving the use of a scale or other measuring device, you can count on the work of your Weights & Measures Department.
The Genesee – Orleans County Department of Weights & Measures (W&M) visits and inspects all businesses annually using measuring devices as a basis of price. Devices such as fuel pumps and register scales at delis, bakeries, and produce stands are required to be inspected annually. One way you can tell when a device has been tested is by the official W&M seal. The seal represents that the device is approved for use.
Here are some things you as a customer can do to make sure you aren’t getting overcharged:
- Check your receipts.
- Be sure the advertised prices match what you were charged.
- Make sure the scale in use starts at zero.
- As a customer you have the right to a direct view of a scales indicator. The scale should always start at zero.
If you believe a commercial device is incorrect, our website has a form in which you can fill out and submit online. Once a complaint is received, the department will visit and retest any device in question. Our goal is fair transactions for all parties involved.
Protection at the Pump: Keeping Your Information Safe
With support from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Genesee-Orleans and the surrounding counties are cracking down on credit card skimmers and those responsible. Weights & Measures officials perform random sweeps of fuel stations looking for these fraudulent devices.
What is a Skimmer?
A credit card skimmer is a device that can be hidden within the fuel pump and takes your personal information without you knowing. These devices send information to criminals who then sell your information. It may take days, weeks, or even months before your information is put to use by those looking to steal your money. A popular tactic used by these scammers is using your information to make a small purchase to confirm your card is active, then they will spend all they can in an attempt to drain your account. If you have ANY unauthorized spending on your account, immediately report this to your bank.
“Residents and visitors of our communities work hard for their money,” stated Ronald P. Mannella, Director of Weights & Measures for Genesee-Orleans County Departments of Health (GO Health). “We will do anything we can to keep people’s money and transactions safe – that’s what we are all about.”
Tools to Fight Fraud
- Mobile Banking
- Many banks now offer online banking along with a mobile version. This allows you to check your banking account frequently as well as setup alerts. Alerts can be created to notify you if withdrawals exceed certain amounts via email or text. Contact your bank to check if mobile banking is an option and how to get started.
- Limit Your Use of Online Transactions
- Unless the site is secure, the FBI recommends not giving your credit card number out online. Secure sites may have a tiny padlock icon to symbolize a higher level of security. This padlock icon does not guarantee a site is 100% secure, but may provide some assurance.
IF YOU HAVE SUSPICIOUS CREDIT CARD ACTIVITY, CONTACT YOUR BANK IMMEDIATELY!
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE FALLEN VICTIM TO A CREDIT CARD SKIMMER, CALL OUR OFFICE: 585-589-4416
OR REPORT A COMPLAINT VIA OUR ONLINE FORM.
Genesee, Orleans Celebrate Fairness and Equity in the Marketplace
The Genesee – Orleans County Department of Weights & Measures (GO Health W&M) is responsible for testing all commercial devices used to weigh and measures various commodities. These inspections are done annually at over 220 businesses which include grocery stores, delis, bakeries, produce stands, laundromats, farms, manufacturing plants, distribution centers, stone quarries, gas stations and non-commercial locations as requested. The department is also responsible for testing the quality of fuel sold within the counties, a task that is 100% reimbursed by NYS (132 fuel samples were taken in 2020). We celebrate this marketplace protection annually on March 1st, the start of National Weights & Measures Week.
Prior to 2020, Genesee and Orleans County operated separate W&M departments. This changed last January when Ronald P. Mannella was appointed Director for both – a move with estimated annual savings of over $54,000.
2020 resulted in 1,138 total devices tested between the two counties, including a 4.11% increase in Genesee County devices compared to 2019. “In our first year functioning as a shared department, we were able to serve both communities better than ever before,” stated Mannella. “We pumped over 13 thousand gallons of fuel and used over 5 million pounds for testing.”
Tested and Approved
These seals indicate a device was tested and approved for use by a Weights & Measures inspector. New for 2021, our seals will incorporate two public health messages acting as reminders for residents and visitors to the area. “Our new seals for this year will address drunk driving and hand washing in an attempt to better the health outcomes of our residents,” expressed Mannella. “I believe we are the first in the state, potentially the nation, to use health and safety messaging on inspection seals – which have gone relatively unchanged for decades. It’s a great opportunity and use of the space allotted to us.”
Protection at the Pump
With support from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Genesee-Orleans and the surrounding counties are cracking down on credit card skimmers and those responsible. W&M inspectors perform random sweeps of fuel stations looking for these fraudulent devices. Arrests have been made and we want it known that New York will not tolerate these criminal acts.
If you have suspicious credit card activity, call your bank immediately.