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Watch out for scams

April’s spring weather might mean May flowers, but it also means be careful, Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said.

Saturday, April 07, 2001

April’s spring weather might mean May flowers, but it also means be careful, Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said.

"Each year, the sheriff’s office receives complaints of scams against area citizens," Sexton said. "Scams seem to be more prevalent at the arrival of spring and, unfortunately, the elderly are targeted by the scam artists."

The scams may be related to home repairs or phone solicitations or even investment schemes, he said.

A common home repair scam, for instance, is the rotting roof. Scammers appear offering to clean gutters then inform you the roof needs repaired, or replaced, the sheriff said.

The scammer may start the job and not complete it after a large sum of money for material has been paid to them, or you may be billed for material that is not purchased.

In the driveway sealant scam, your driveway looks sealed when it might simply have been sprayed with tar or watered-down black paint, Sexton said. Or, sometimes, the con artist asks for cash up front to purchase sealant but disappears, never to be seen again, he said.

"Always seek multiple estimates, in writing, and rely on local established businesses," he said.

No matter the type of scam, there are ways residents can protect themselves, Sexton said.

Local, legitimate businesses will not solicit your business door-to-door, so be aware of the door-to-door "con artist," he said.

If such a con artist comes calling, do not allow them to enter the home; obtain the company name, address and phone number; and ask for identification, Sexton said.