The Consumer Protection has warned the senior citizens of the home improvement tactics used by scammers during the summer. According to Rockland’s County Consumer Protection director Terry Grosselfinger, contacting the victims (usually the senior citizens) by phone is not the only tactic that the scammers use to swindle people out of their money. These cons have also resulted to showing up at their victims’ doorstep unannounced where they offer services for home improvement claiming that they will do so at a bargain price.
According to the Consumer Protection, these services that they offer usually focus on roofing, landscaping, pavements, plumbing, electrical repair, masonry, construction and black-topping. The end result of this is that the victims give out hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for substandard home improvement and repair work and in many of the cases the cons do not do the work. According to Grosselfinger, those in the age of 65-plus are more vulnerable to these scams as they tend to be more trusting and they are more often at home than the younger generations. They are also likely to have more money and most of the times they tend to keep cash in the house.
The Consumer Protection has thus warned the senior citizens to be very wary of people claiming to be home improvement contractors who knock on their doorstep and insist of doing work for cash paid upfront or for checks that are made out to cash. The senior citizens are also being warned not to let these contractors to pressure them go to the banks for cash so that they can seal deals which seem to be too good to be true.
While warning the senior citizens, Grosselfinger said that these scammers pressure their victims to let them do the home improvement work right there and then by claiming that they have all the materials needed for the job. The scammers are also known to approach their victims claiming they are from a job down the street and they have some left over materials. They then entice the victims with a sweet deal and once the victims agree, these scammers who are unqualified use substandard materials to do a shoddy job and then disappear.
The Rockland County Consumer Protection says that any place in the county can be a target though the scammers prefer Haverstraw and Clarkstown. The Consumer Protection has thus informed the residents that Rockland County demands that all the home improvement companies and contractors such as plumbers, painters, electricians and landscapers to have a license and that they can call the Consumer Protection office of the Rockland County to enquire if the contractors offering the home improvement services are licensed.
The agency has further warned them not to accept advice from unsolicited sales people going from door-to-door as most of the licensed contractors us other forms of advertising for their home improvement services. The senior citizens have also been advised to never let any contractor pressure them to sign contracts with them on their 1st visit as this is a tactic used by many scammers on their victims to prevent them from researching on their reputation.