Charlottesville Police Warn of Scams Targeting Elderly

September 26, 2007

Charlottesville Police are investigating a rash of recent frauds that have happened in the city. Police say that all the victims so far have been elderly residents.

Police say that suspects approach homes which they believe are owned by elderly individuals, offer home repair services, particularly roof work, to the victim. Officials say they convince the victims that their roof or chimney needs repair and that they will offer a good deal and only charge them half price.

Police say the suspects do unnecessary repair work with cheap labor supplies estimated at only $50 and charge the victims anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.

Police have the following tips to avoid being a victim:

1. Know your home repair needs.
2. Ask for license and insurance documentation from perspective contractors
3. Recognize that legitimate contractors rarely go door to door.
4. Don't be pressured into a "one time only deal."
5. Avoid "Buy now and save" promotions.
6. If you need work on your home, get at least 3 estimates.

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