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Kathy S. Koops GRI

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Scam Season in Greater Cincinnati

filed under: Informational posted on May 5th, 2015

Scam Season in CincinnatiSpring is in full bloom and so is scam season.

The greater Cincinnati area is a great place to live but we’re not immune to scammers hitting unsuspecting residents with great service offers.  From tree trimmers, landscape helpers, gutter cleaners, window washers, driveway sealing and the list goes on.  Scammers come in all shapes and sizes- often driving newer vehicles with what looks like legitimate signage.  Unfortunately a good scammer can spot somebody who looks like they need work done and approaches with a friendly, too good to be true offer and walks away with cash and a promise to return later to complete the work.  The worst of the scammers target neighborhoods with a generous population of “seniors” and bilk several neighbors before the word spreads and somebody calls the police.

There are lots of legitimate service providers working all over the city and while they are in your neighborhood they may place flyers on your front door and knock and hand you a card.  Usually they don’t press you to have work done immediately and ask for cash up front.

The best way to protect yourself is to research the company online and ask for references.  Make sure vendors are insured and bonded.  Any doubts about the vendor- call the police and find out if any complaints have been filed.  I was always grateful that my mom’s neighbors kept an out for potential problems and warned her about scammers before they knocked on her door.  Senior citizens are more than capable of taking care of themselves and their property- but it’s great when the neighbors stay in touch and keep everybody safe.

Many of the local governments have assigned people to handle frauds and scams and they’re also a good resource to check out references.  In Hamilton County Hamilton County Coalition to Stop Fraud, Scams & Abuse and in Butler- Butler County Scam Alerts and Clermont – scam alerts.  The Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio provides information and links to a number of resources. Finally watching tv and catching John Matarese “Don’t Waste Your Money” – in the search box- type in scams and tons of information pops up.

Scams happen all year long but they seem to “bloom” in spring!  Stop and research before you hire somebody and take a few moments to spread the word in your neighborhood when you discover a scam artist offering their services door-to-door.

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