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  • Government officials and police warn against Home Inspection Burglary Scams

    Officials warn homeowners against a popular scam happening all over the USA, particularly targeting elder people. Here are some ways in which homeowners are being targeted and scammed and ways to try and prevent this or what to watch out for should it happen to you.

    For example, when a home resident wants to have construction work done on his or her home, a county inspector must visit the property to check that the work has been done correctly. Well it the inspection is often posted for the public, and a person claiming to be that county inspector will show up early to a home, and lure a couple outside to the back or front yard claiming a problem with a water meter or sewer or something else and talk to them for awhile. Meantime, another partner in crime steps right into the couple’s home and robs them, grabbing as much as he can and jetting outta there just as quickly. When the fake county inspector leaves, the couple go back into their home to find they had been robbed.

    Another well known scam is when a person knocks on your door claiming to be a utility company inspecting water or sewer or electrical or phone lines. They gain certain information from you or about you in an attempt to schedule a future burglary, when they know nobody will be at home. Sometimes a person will claim to be from a home inspection company and tell you they are going door to door doing random inspections for the city.

    Here are some helpful tips you can follow should any of these happen to you. If it is a trusted actual worker from the city or a company, he/she will arrive at a home in an official county or company vehicle marked with the county’s or company’s logo on the side. Inspectors also often wear a shirt or jacket with the department’s name. Residents should request to see any inspector’s county-issued photo identification card, which every county employee should have with them. If an individual does not have that card, which includes his or her photo and the county seal, that person should not be permitted to enter the home. If there is any reason to doubt at all, tell the person at the door, that you will be right back, and that you are going to call the said utility/city/company to be sure that this person is supposed to be there at your home at that moment. Close your home door and make that call.

    In short, should anybody show up unsolicited at your door claiming to be a contractor or utility worker, it should raise a red flag. Don’t invite that person in, even if there’s a uniform and badge. First verify the visitor’s identity by calling the company yourself. If you step outside to talk, always lock the door behind you.

    To read more about this type of scam, here are some helpful trusted articles:
    http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-10-2011/home-maintenance-scam-alert.html

    http://www.scambusters.org/homeinspection.html