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Safety Report: Scams Targeting Elderly Residents with Fraudulent Home Repairs, Boston, MA, USA

4 months ago source police.boston.gov

Outbreak

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

With the arrival of spring, there's a rise in international travelers approaching residents with offers of home improvement work. Historically, Boston residents have spent substantial amounts—up to tens of thousands of dollars—on services like masonry, driveway paving, chimney, basement, roofing, and fence repairs, often ending up with further damage or negligible improvements. Initially quoted at around $1,500 for paving or masonry work, these scams can quickly spiral, with claims of foundation damage leading to costs of $20,000 to $30,000 for structural engineering consultations. To avoid falling prey to such scams, residents are advised to be vigilant. Common tactics employed by these scammers include::

· Door-to-Door Solicitation – Paper flyers with uninspired business names (A1 Paving, City & Town Paving, etc.)

· Will offer discounts because of “left over materials” from neighborhood jobs

· High Pressure – will exaggerate need for work to be done immediately

· After initial work may show threatening or intimidating demeanor

· They will ask checks be made out to them individually and not the company name

Residents should know many of these individuals are traveling to the US under a program that DOES NOT allow them to work during their 90-day visit. Most of the scammers identified are traveling from Ireland and the United Kingdom. Residents are also reminded much of the work being done by these scammers require City of Boston Building Permits. In addition, the companies are not registered with the City or State and may have a recently established website.

Any unknown person approaching you to do ANY work on your home should be viewed as a potential scammer. Residents who feel they have been victimized should contact their local police district and provide as much information as possible including vehicles and plates.

Remember, for any work on your property you should obtain a minimum of two estimates from reputable companies who will carry the appropriate insurance, licenses, apply for the appropriate permits and provide references and coverage to you for their work after completion.

Source: police.boston.gov/2024/03/16/bpd-community-alert-paving-contractor-fraud-home-improvement-scam-primarily-targeting-seniors-2/

#scam #boston #massachusetts #us

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