The main goal of any scam artist is to separate a potential victim from their money or other valuables. Most scams start by being approached unsolicited at home, on the street or on the telephone.
Always steer clear of ANY proposition that requests money on short notice. Follow these tips to help improve your odds of not getting scammed out of your hard-earned cash:
• Understand that scammers are experienced, and anyone can be scammed.
• There’s no such thing as a “get rich quick” scheme. Do not trust anyone who promises this.
• Always keep all unattended doors locked. Sometimes scam artists work in teams. While one scammer distracts you, the other is entering your home through an unattended unlocked door.
• NEVER have an unsolicited stranger enter your home.
• Any official should be able to confirm their identity by producing identification. If an “official” cannot produce identification, close your door or walk away.
• If a utility company employee asks to enter your home or asks you to come outside, call the utility company.
• "No Solicitation" and "Beware of Dog" signs are great deterrents for unexpected strangers.
• Be extremely wary of any “door-to-door” sales offer.
• Be suspicious of any unsolicited home repair offers. Roof, window, pavement and driveway repairs are common repair scams. If you need a home repair person, check with your township or Better Business Bureau for reputable businesses.
• Check for complaints against any business you may be considering using with the Better Business Bureau.
• Check all references that a business or repair person may give.
• Get more than one estimate and compare value.
• Don’t rush into any major money decisions. Speak with someone you trust first.
• High pressure sales tactics are often a tell-tale sign of a shady deal.
• Don’t pay using cash! Pay by check. That way you can stop payment if the job isn’t done correctly or not completed.
• Make sure that the job is done to your satisfaction before any payment is made.
• Have the business guarantee their work.
• Always carefully read and understand a contract before you sign it.