BOSTON, Mass. – With summer just around the corner, officials are warning the public of a new wave of home improvement scams targeting the elderly in the Boston area.
According to police, over the past several summers, many Boston residents have paid tens of thousands of dollars for substandard masonry, driveway, paving, chimney, basement, roof and fence repairs. These victims are often left with worse damage to their homes and a hefty bill.
Most of the scammers identified by authorities are traveling from Ireland and the UK as part of a program that does not allow them to work during their 90-day stay in the US. The scammers mainly target seniors.
Tactics used by these scammers include:
· Door to door advertising – paper flyers with uninspired company names (A1 pavement, town and city pavement, etc.)
· Offer discounts for “leftover supplies” from neighborhood jobs
· High pressure – overdoing it that the job needs to be done immediately
· Threatening or intimidating behavior may be exhibited after the first job
· They require checks to be made out to them personally and not to their company name
Residents are reminded that most of these scammers’ work requires a building permit from the City of Boston. Furthermore, the scam companies are not registered with the city or state and their websites are brand new.
Anyone approaching your home wanting to do unsolicited work on your home should be viewed as a potential scammer. If you feel you have been the victim of one of these scams, you are asked to report it to your local police station.
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