This is the time of year when consumers get targeted by door to door contractor scams. This is how these scams work and how to protect yourself:
A contractor stops by your home, telling you that they noticed a problem with your roof, driveway, trees or other areas. They tell you that they happened to be in your area and can fix the problem on the spot at a really cheap cash price. The problem is, they may do shoddy work, or take your cash and leave without starting or completing the job. If you get approached by one of these unsolicited contractors, here is what you can do to protect yourself.
Some of these contractors like to show up in pairs, with one person distracting you outside while another tries to gain entry to your home to rip you off. Whether you are inside or out, it is always a good idea to keep all doors locked.
Ask for identification and take note of any markings on vehicles, name badges, or uniforms. Be especially careful if you notice plain vehicles with out of state plates, or the contractor provides an excuse about why they do not have business cards or contracts.
Avoid paying cash and having work done on the spot. Get a signed, detailed contract with a street address and phone number, and check things out before you allow any work to be performed.
If something seems suspicious, contact law enforcement.
And, follow the golden rule: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.