Home improvement fraud

Handyman ThiefDon’t let this man’s phony smile fool you. He could be a thief. If someone comes knocking at your door, claiming to be a contractor, be careful of what you do. I just received this forward from a Circuit Attorney in the City of St. Louis. If you live or own any properties in the City you should really take this one to heart.

“Now that spring is here, some home improvement scammers are working their way into the City. There have been two reported incidents in the last two weeks. In both instances, the crime happened in the middle of the week, mid-morning, in the 2nd District on our City’s south side, but as always, you should be vigilant any time you are at home.

The perpetrators tend to target the elderly, and pose as lot surveyors, city workers, tree trimmers, or water and electric company workers. The conmen choose a house, and take two or three men to do the “job.” The first member of the crew will attempt to get the resident out of the house, often asking the resident to show him to some spot on the property. The second and third will enter the house, one distracting any other residents who may be in there, and one checking for money or other valuables. They usually leave the residence within five to seven minutes.

A percentage of Gypsies have been known to operate in a large organized crime network which commits acts similar to these. The group travels with the seasons, and because homeowners begin to do seasonal repair work around this time, spring is particularly profitable for them and other scam artists to focus on home improvement fraud. As with any other time of the year, though, we advise you to be careful of anyone who comes onto your property without either an invitation or appointment.”

For Additional Information

Fraud Assistance Hotline: (314) 612-1412
Office Phone: (314) 622-4941
Fax: (314) 622-3369

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One Response to Home improvement fraud

  1. Debbie April 11, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    Thank you for this post. I forwarded it to everyone on our block — very helpful.

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