Summer's just a day away, and that means a season of more favorable temps and enjoying the great Minnesota outdoors. But when it comes to the nice weather, you can also expect more home maintenance and improvement scams to be happening throughout the summer. Around this time, you can expect the area to be filled with many landscapers and contractors looking for work around your neighborhood. While most companies out there are legitimate, some of them are not and will not hesitate to take your money and run for the hills once they have it, without doing the work. One of the things that the police are warning against are 'ruse burglaries'. These are when someone is talking to the homeowner about potential work (or an inspection, or some other type of cold call) that they need to do, and while the owner is distracted, another person slips into the home to find things that can be stolen. Since the homeowner is focused on the person doing the talking, it's often very easy for the accomplice to slip in the back door unnoticed. How to Avoid MN Home Repair Scammers
- Never let someone that comes up to casually talk to you do an inspection of any part of your property. You want to know the phone number to their office and to see their ID. Ask for a business card, then let them you know you'll call to arrange an appointment if you're interested.
- Do not walk outside with anyone who wants to show you the problems with your home. This allows the second person to get in while you are out.
- Do not let anyone that you do not know or are expecting to come inside your home. This includes while you are right there with them. Even if you're present, they may be checking your home out for valuables they'll come back and get when you're not home.
- A lot of times they will claim that the neighbor hired them before and now they want to know if you want the same service performed on your home. They say they will give you a good deal for the work.
- A lot of times these scammers already know your name and the names of the neighbors. This is to convince you that they are legitimate and have a reputable company, even if they do not.
- Do not fall for fake referrals or references. Just because they give them to you doesn't mean that the person on the other end (if you decide to call) is someone that they have actually worked for in the past. Any legitimate contractor will also provide an address with the name and number of the reference so you can actually go check the work out if you want to.