Spring is here and so are con artists who prey on homeowners, especially senior citizens. These con artists show up at your door offering a variety of products and services from household products to magazines, from tree trimming to roof repair. Some may offer to pave your driveway with leftover materials from a previous job, cut your grass, or remodel your home for a very low price. Oftentimes, these fly-by-night operators may drive vehicles with out-of-state license plates, or set up temporary offices from which they can move quickly once authorities start looking for them.
Before you pay anyone who uses this type of approach, and especially before you allow any unknown individual into your home, the Better Business Bureau suggests that you do the following:
Remember, any legitimate company that wants your business will be more than willing to allow you the time to "check them out." Don't fall prey to high pressure tactics such as "this is the only chance you have" or "by tomorrow the extra materials will be gone." If you have an expensive repair, be especially cautious of these offers. Obtain bids from several companies. Don't always go for the lowest bid - in many cases, you will get exactly what you pay for.
Finally, be very cautious of any individual who tries to lure you out of your house to inspect an electric meter, point out property lines or any multitude of other excuses. This could just be a ploy to get you out of the house long enough for a partner to sneak in to steal your valuables. Remember, this is your home so you get to set the rules.
For more tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org.
Kelvin Collins is president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia & the CSRA, Inc. serving 41 counties in Central Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). This tips column is provided through the local BBB and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Questions or complaints about a specific company or charity should be referred directly to the BBB at Phone: 1-800-763-4222, Web site: www.bbb.org or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com