The following is from the AARP Fraud Watch Network:
Spring can mean severe weather events – and a busy season for scammers!
Here’s how it works:
Someone claiming to be a contractor arrives on your doorstep and explains he’s just finished a job fixing storm damage on a neighbor’s property.
Since he’s already here, he will offer to handle your needed repairs as a steep discount.
He most likely will ask for payment in advance or try to convince you to sign over payment from your insurance company.
What you should know:
Shady contractors and outright scammers flood area hit by extreme weather events in search of “work” that they may or may not even attempt to do.
Many will specifically target older homeowners who they perceive as more trusting, more likely to have savings, and may be experiencing cognitive decline.
What you should do:
Avoid reactively agreeing to repair work at your doorstep; rather, proactively seek out contractors that you can research.
Get written estimates and compare bids from multiple contractors before starting any work
Ask contractors for references, and check them
Pay no more than a third of the total cost prior to the work beginning, and then only when materials arrive.
To report a scam or for help if you or a loved one has fallen victim, contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360.
– AARP Fraud Watch Network