Tis the Season for Cons in Home Repairs
With summer right around the corner and the nice weather approaching, it is the perfect time for con artists to target older homeowners for home repairs.
Unlike what was previously referred to as "dupe and dash travelers," who temporarily swarm into an area, collect upfront payments and then skip town, the newest con artists are referred to as "woodchucks" because they tend to be local and will continue to hit the same victim repeatedly. Typically targeting homes of seniors by looking for wheelchair ramps, handicap placards, and unkempt yards. "Woodchucks" start with a knock on the door with an offer to trim trees or other yard work ultimately convincing the homeowner to pay for the same unnecessary improvements over and over again.
The easy solution is to not engage with door to door solicitors and to not hire or give money but it is also important as family members and neighbors to look out for our loved ones. So what can you do?
Be their eyes and ears.
As neighbors, know who is vulnerable on your street and pay attention if you see a contractor's truck parked in front on four or more occasions over the span of only a couple weeks. Family members who do not live nearby should talk to and enlist trusted neighbors to be their eyes and ears.
Check it out.
Visit, ask questions, and do not be afraid to look at the work or contract or ask for references.
Have the talk.
Although difficult, it is important to talk directly to your loved one so they are aware of the the dangers.
For more informati
on, check out AARP's Fraud Watch to learn more about scams to look out for and avoid.