Police Warn of Home Improvement Scam Targeting Seniors

| April 30, 2018 | 0 Comments | Community

Submitted by the Prince William County Police 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . As the weather gets warmer, Prince William County Police are receiving an increasing number of reports of door-to-door scams targeting seniors.

“Criminal scammers generally target older people that appear to own their own homes and live in middle income neighborhoods”, according to Captain Fred Miller of the police department’s Criminal Investigations Division, “they try to sell services like outside driveway or roof repair and tree trimming.”

He offered the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • People going door-to-door selling home repair and tree services must have a solicitor’s permit issued by the County. They should display this and present it to you when you ask to see it.
  • Do not agree to do business on the spot. If someone tells you that you have a problem with your property that needs to be fixed, get other opinions and quotes from at least two other contractors. If you did not know you needed the work done before the solicitor came to your door, you do not need it done right now. There is nothing so urgent that it must be handled right then. Anyone that tells you otherwise is probably trying to scam you into a project you do not need.
  • Before you agree to have the work done and definitely before paying any money, give it at least a day to think it over. Call friends or relatives and discuss it with them. Doing so means you are being a cautious and savvy consumer.
  • You should not pay for the entire job up front. You should only pay for the entire job once it is completed to your satisfaction. If you are asked to pay up front, they may take your money and never return to complete the job.
  • Checks should be made payable to businesses, not individuals.
  • It is a crime for anyone to scam you out of your money. If you suspect someone is trying to commit such a crime, or has committed such a crime, please call the Prince William County Police at 703-792-6500.

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