Fraud alert: Disaster repair scams

Published 10:42 am Thursday, March 31, 2022

Extreme weather season seems to be a misnomer, with catastrophic weather events happening throughout the year these days. Whenever weather events occur, shady contractors and outright impostors flock to neighborhoods in search of “work” that they may or may not even attempt to do. Many will specifically target older homeowners who they perceive as more trusting, more likely to have savings, and – they think – may be experiencing cognitive decline.

It’s safest to trust contractors that you proactively reach out to. Also, regardless of who you are talking to, get written estimates and compare bids from multiple contractors before starting any work. Finally, pay no more than a third of the total cost prior to the work beginning – and then only when materials arrive.

Be a fraud fighter. If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call (877) 908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

To learn more about AARP Virginia, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/aarpvirginia and follow @AARPVa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aarpva.