Dont Fall for the Rip-Offs

Don’t Fall For The Rip-Offs

“We were doing some work in your neighborhood and noticed a problem with your driveway/roof/siding/whatever. Since our guy is already there we can do the repair for a bargain price.”

This pitch or some variation is a signature of rip-offs who prey on homeowners, especially the elderly. They commonly show up after storms, often knocking on doors in a neighborhood where homes have been damaged or flooded.

Take it from me, cold-calling like that is not a viable way to market a home repair business. People who operate like that cannot be relied on to do the job right even if they want to, which they probably don’t. Most are con artists, plain and simple.

Other signals include high-pressure sales pitches in which they scare you into thinking you or your property is in danger unless you make immediate repairs. They will typically quote an extremely low price but want to be paid upfront with cash. Sometimes the work may involve tearing up a part of your property, after which they leave with a promise to come back and finish the job later, which will not happen.

Be especially wary of two people working in tandem. One may talk to you about the job while the other enters your home looking for valuables. He may ask your permission to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. While you are distracted, he goes through your drawers.

If you encounter any of these characters, call the police immediately.

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