Springtime Home Repairs/Scams
Once again, that time of year has come where the warm weather beckons us to start yard work and home repairs. With the high winds wrecking havoc on our roof, fences, etc., repairs are becoming necessary.
The alert this month serves as a reminder that this is the time of year when the con-artists are coming out of their winter retirement and starting to operate throughout the United States offering to do your repairs for a very minimal fee. Although it is speculated that many of these type of con-artists like to head to the areas hit hard by tornadoes, we must remember to be on our guard against their possibility of visiting Pueblo and the surrounding communities. These people share one common goal, to take your money and run.
The con starts when someone knocks on your door and offers to do repairs around your home. These repairs could be roof coating/repair, fixing a fallen fence, asphalt paving/driveway sealing, house/barn painting, tree pruning/landscaping, and termite/pest control, just to name a few. They offer to do the work and charge you less than what a reputable local company would charge you. The idea of paying less money is always a welcoming thought, but you must remember that doing business with someone that is just passing through can prove to be a disastrous decision. When you discover the poor work that was done, who do you call to make good on it? After receiving a deposit, or the full amount, you’re told they are going to get the supplies and will return. Some take the money and never return. Those that do come back, usually provide extremely poor labor. For example: paint is watered down, paving material is applied very thin and will crumble and crack within a short time, insect spray is made up of nothing more than water and/or water and milk, roofing repair consists of spraying silver or black spray paint on the roof.
These people have also been known to con their way into your homes on the pretense of using your phone, checking for leaks from the roof, etc. While inside your home, they look for valuables, easy items to pocket and/or your personal information. Some work in pairs. While one of them has your attention, the other is working their way through your home taking what isn't theirs. Always remember, there is no reason to ever let a stranger into your home.
- DO NOT do business with door-to-door contractors. Just because they pulled up in front of your house in a fancy truck with advertising decals on the doors does not mean that they are a reputable business. It could mean that they are just that good of a con artist.
- Keep all doors, including the garage door, closed and locked at all times, especially when you are outside working in the yard. It may seem like more of a hassle to keep unlocking the door every time you need to enter, but if you step away from the front of the house to retrieve something in the backyard, that's all the time that is needed to gain access to your home.
- Install security doors with metal grillwork and key locks instead of latched screen doors.
- Do not hide keys under the doormat or rocks.
- Secure sliding glass doors with anti-slide block or slide bolt.
- Do not rely on the phone book advertisements that show that a company is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Take the time to actually call the BBB at (866)206-1800 and verify the business. You may also access their website at www.bbbsc.org . It may cost you more in the long run to hire someone from a reputable business that has been checked out with the Better Business Bureau, but you at least have a better sense of who you're dealing with, and possible recourse through civil remedy if the job is not done correctly.
IDENTIFY A SCAM BEFORE A SCAM IDENTIFIES YOU!