Home Repair and Improvement Scams

Tips to avoid being the victim of a scam:

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Lamar Police Department

1106 Broadway Street

Lamar, Missouri 64759

Phone – 417-682-3546

 

 

 

Home repair and improvement scams are among the top complaints made to the Attorney General’s Office.

Common scams, often targeting seniors:

  • Asphalt.    Solicitors offer to use leftover asphalt from an earlier job to repave your driveway.  Workers usually start to repave your driveway.  Workers usually start the job and then say it will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars more to complete it.  Or they will just lay black paint and leave town with your money.
  • Foundation and attic work.  Repairs often are worthless and overpriced.
  • Free home inspections.  A con artist comes to your home offering a free evaluation to look for damage.  The estimate will be bogus or the crook may want to simply get into your home to rob you or worse.  Never trust a free inspection.
  • Requests for large down payments.  Some con artists even offer to go to the bank with the consumer to withdraw money.

Beware of any worker who:

  • Solicits door to door.  Most con artists operate this way.
  • Drives an out-of-state or unmarked vehicle, especially after damaging storms.
  • Has no identification or address, just a phone number.
  • Demands full payment before beginning work.

Before starting home repair work:

  • Hire companies that are known or recommended.  Check the background of companies by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or your nearest Better Business Bureau.
  • Check the credentials of companies.  Verify their numbers and address in the phone book, check for county and local permits and ask if they are licensed, bonded and insured.
  • Get at least two estimates and a third if possible, and get all of them in writing.
  • Get all agreements in writing, including description of the job, completion dates and price.
  • Make full payment only when the terms of the contract are met.

This information is provided by:

Ken Bergman

Chief of Police

Posted in News & Announcements, Police
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