MILWAUKEE — If you are planning to hire a service for snow removal, watch out. If you are not careful, you could get taken by a scam.
Snow removal scams can happen in one of two ways: you see an ad or someone comes to your door offering snow removal services for the entire season at a very reasonable rate. They want payment upfront for the entire season. But, after you pay, they do not show up to do the work. Or, a pair of scammers show up at your home with one scammer distracting you at the front door while the other enters through a side door, stealing your valuables.
To avoid getting taken, keep your doors locked at all times, use caution before you allow a potential scammer to enter, and do not pay upfront for the entire season.
Reputable companies may ask for a partial payment upfront, but they typically split the bill for the season over two or more payments. Get more than one estimate. Check out the reputation of the contractor or owner by searching for complaints with the Better Business Bureau, social media, or other online databases like Wisconsin Circuit Court Access.
Sometimes there are legitimate reasons why a contractor did not show up, and they may be willing to refund your money or make other arrangements. But, if you believe you were scammed, you may want to file a police report, contact our Call 4 Action office, Better Business Bureau, or the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for help. Although it may be difficult to get your money back, your information can help us to warn others.