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Investigative Journalism NYC government Opinion

The New York City correspondence number confirmation emails are a complete scam.

I contact New York City all the time for one reason or another. I have sent messages to NY Courts, Speaker of the City Council, New York FBI, 1 Police Plaza, NYC Comptroller’s Office, New York City Human Resources Administration, Manhattan District Attorney, Queens District Attorney, Manhattan Borough President, Queens Borough President, and several others. 

In this article, I’d like to focus on the New York City agencies that have web forms that allow you to contact them. The NYPD Commissioner and Department of Social Services Commissioner use them. The forms allow you to send your message type, topic, a message capped by a certain number of characters, name, address, phone number, email, etc. 

The New York City web forms should allow the constituents to send longer messages. Furthermore, the biggest scam is the auto-generated system message. I received the following response today after I sent a message to HRA. From my experience, the NYPD auto-generated message looks exactly the same. I have a feeling there are more city agencies using them. 

This is it:

Your City of New York Correspondence Number is #1-1-4571060

Thank you for contacting the City of New York. Your message has been forwarded to the appropriate agency for review and handling.

For future reference, your correspondence number is 1-1-4571060

Sincerely,

The City of New York

This is an auto-generated system message. Please do not reply to this message. Messages received through this address are not processed.

Thank you.

This e-mail, including any attachments, may be confidential, privileged or otherwise legally protected. It is intended only for the addressee. If you received this e-mail in error or from someone who was not authorized to send it to you, do not disseminate, copy or otherwise use this e-mail or its attachments. Please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

The New York City government can do better than that.

  1. The New York City agency web forms should allow longer messages so we can explain what is going on. They both allow 2,000 characters. Not words, characters. The forms should allow 1,000 or 2,000 words. 
  2. The auto-generated system message should include the name of the New York City agency that you contacted. 
  3. In addition to including the name of the New York City agency, the auto-generated system message should include the message you sent to the agency.
  4. You should be able to respond to the auto-generated message with more information. I like it when I contact companies and I receive a reply with an auto-generated message that I can reply and add additional information. 

Why doesn’t the New York City government want us to have a record of the agency we contacted and what we wrote?

If you ask me it appears they are trying to cover things up with a message system set up the way it is. Is the whole entire United States government using web forms that leave out a large portion of the most important information? I started out wanting to expose the situation with the New York City government web forms. While I started writing this article I thought of the idea to create another post in the future that includes how to contact additional city agencies and the response. Some NYC agencies I’ve contacted have public email addresses they provide to the public. Some of them have auto-generated messages and others don’t. When I contact a public email address for the NYPD, I never receive a response. 

I always treat New York City government employees with the utmost respect at all times in person and on the phone and you should do the same. I save my complaining for when I create videos and articles. I’m not a lawyer. If you have legal questions speak with an attorney. Use this information at your own risk. All information is subject to change. 

By Mark Pine

Startups, Marketing, Motivation