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|With winter finally behind us, it’s the perfect time for many Maryland homeowners to start on some long-anticipated home improvement projects.
But before you rush into revamping your house, police departments across Maryland are warning homeowners to be aware of a recent upswing in home improvement scams targeting people across the state.
“During the warmer months, people have a tendency to see more home improvement scams,” Dep. Amanda Hatcher, spokesperson for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, said.
According to WMAR Baltimore, police are advising residents to steer clear of unsolicited door-to-door home improvement representatives who demand up-front payment. Scammers will often require immediate payment, but will not follow through on providing the actual services they promised. Citizens are also advised to be wary of anyone who starts performing landscaping or home improvement services without first receiving the homeowner’s consent.
While door-to-door scams are common, it’s important to note that some reputable home improvement companies do offer their services to residents on a door-to-door basis. These companies are required to have a county-authorized peddler and solicitor card. To be sure you’re hiring the right company, be sure to ask to see the company ID of any door-to-door representatives.
“Make sure that they have a good business name, address, telephone number, they can provide references,” Dep. Hatcher added. “Somebody who’s legitimate will be able to provide all of that.”
When obtained through the right contractors, springtime home improvement procedures can offer a number of benefits to homeowners. The simple act of replacing old and worn siding can boost a house’s value by up to 10%.
According to Your4State.com, police believe the scammers are primarily targeting residential subdivisions as well as the elderly. Because of this, they are also asking Maryland residents to share the message with any friends, family or neighbors who may be vulnerable to home improvement scams. Additionally, never allow anyone you don’t know inside your home and don’t accept any home improvement offer if you feel pressured to make a decision on the spot.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.