Traveling con artists target homes in need of repair

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You want a sure fire way to get scammed at your home? Well, I can show you one. Picture this: Somebody comes by your house and says, “Your shutters are in need of repair” or “The paint is peeling, I can take care of that for you.”

So many homeowners know they have nagging problems around the house and they just don’t get around to them. That’s where con artists known in the lingo of trade as “travelers” come in and fleece them.

According to The Denver Post, travelers will stake out a neighborhood for a few days to get an idea of which homes to target with their appeals. Then they may knock on your door and start chatting you up about the necessary repairs on your home. They may come back a second time, and maybe even a third time before asking for money.

There are believed to be some 100,000 travelers going from market to market around the country stealing money from homeowners by promising to do repair work. Once they win your confidence, they’ll get a deposit from you for supposed work. They may vanish with no work done, while others will do slipshod work and still others may demand more money or do unauthorized work.

The lesson here is this: Don’t hire somebody who solicits you. If they get you thinking about the home repairs you need done, do your homework and hire a reliable professional.

When you’re dealing with a professional, you need to be specific in writing about what work will be done and what materials will be used. Never do a contract where the money is front-loaded. One of worst threats remains fly-by-night roofers. They may do the work, but it won’t be to standard.

This is one of those areas where you can prevent a problem a lot easier than you can solve it after the fact.



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