News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 9, 2013

Vermillion sheriff warns of possible home improvement scams

Tribune-Star staff report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A warning about potential home improvement scams has been issued by Vermillion County Sheriff Robert Spence.

With the arrival of spring, many homeowners may be outside working on projects. That can be an unintended invitation for trained con artists who will offer plans to help with projects, especially targeting senior citizens and handicapped people.

“These people may appear to be very honest and will offer to help with roofing, paving, plumbing, and many other home repair projects,” Spence said. “Many times these people will offer ‘great deal’ discounts if you pay now and they will complete the work later (and then never show up).”

Spence said he knew of no reports so far this year in Vermillion County, but he said he is aware that the scams are being perpetrated in Danville, Ill.

“It is just a good reminder to all that this is the time of year we see home improvement fraud,” he said.

He recommends that homeowners use local contractors and check references prior to any payments or contracts.

The sheriff also states that anyone who is approached by people offering low-cost contracting deals should report that activity to police.