Drifter-Related Scams Prevalent in Fall and Winter

LAS VEGAS - Gypsies and vagabonds may be targeting homeowners in the coming months. The Nevada State Contractors Board says drifter-initiated scams are prevalent from October to January.

"What they do is bombard neighborhoods with brand new trucks, brand new equipment,  and they come with door-to-door solicitations," said Jennifer Turner with the Nevada State Contractors Board. "They will essentially convince homeowners they've been doing work down the street. They have extra materials. They are going to want to solicit to do work on their property."

Homeowners should be leery of offers like these. The scammers will enter a homeowner's home or back yard to give an estimate. Meanwhile, something else is going on.

"Once they get into your home, they often come with other individuals - whether it is their children, women, other men," Turner said. "As they are soliciting you that service they are going to have, people (are) roaming your house and stealing from you. We've seen that on a number of occasions."

Homeowners can take steps to avoid becoming victimized. First, never let anyone into your home if you did not invite them there. Second, if you need work done, always get at least three estimates from licensed contractors. Finally, never pay in cash. If you do, it can be very difficult to get your money back if it's a scam.

You may also want to avoid using a check. In some instances, scammers will add an extra zero to the dollar amount on the check.

If you have any consumer complaints you want investigated, call 8 on Your Side at 650-1907 or email us.


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