Letter: Seniors: Avoid home repair scams

By on April 22, 2010

The purpose of this letter is to remind senior citizens that spring time is often when they could become a victim of a home repair scam.

Here is how it works: A door-to-door salesman offers to do repair work for much less than the market price. He demands a large down payment and full payment before the work is completed. When asked, he cannot provide references except that he has done other work in the neighborhood. If the work is done at all, it is usually done poorly.

Here is what to do: Do not even open your door to contractors or salesmen unless you know them or have asked them to stop by. Never agree to have repair work done until you have checked a contractor’s background and references. Never sign anything unless you have read and fully understand what it is. If you notice anyone going door to door in your neighborhood who appears suspicious, call the police.

To report an actual scam, contact the Office of the Attorney General and/or call the Senior Fraud Hotline at 1-800-243-5377.

Helen J. Baker
Elder Abuse Committee
of the 16th Judicial Circuit
Family Violence Coordinating Council