Smyrna police are warning homeowners of a potential burglary scam that has been reported in the area. The scam involves a couple who police believe may be trying to obtain information they will later use to rob homes.
Burglary Scam Details
A spokesperson for the police said that the couple, who is driving a U-Haul pickup truck, have been stopping to offer homeowners chemical lawn care treatment. The man is white and approximately 5’8” in his late 40s or early 50s. It is believed he weighs about 130 pounds. At the last sighting, he did not have facial hair. The woman is also white, heavy-set and wearing large round earrings. It is believed that the couple is preying on the elderly, conducting surveillance of the home in order to return and rob the house at a later time or date.
Home improvement scams, especially those directed at the elderly are not uncommon, police say. Often, the scam artists use high-pressure sales tactics to sell contracts that are either unneeded or overpriced. They may also require high deposits up front and, once they are paid, disappear never to be seen again. There have also been cases where the work done was substandard and when the homeowner refused to pay, they were threatened with foreclosure or mechanic’s liens. In this case, it appears that the couple visiting homeowners is asking questions beyond what a normal chemical lawn care treatment professional would ask. At this point, there have been no reports of robberies at homes where the couple has offered their services.
What to Do If You Suspect a Scam
There are steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a home improvement scam. In most cases, a contractor does not contact you unsolicited to perform a service. If you are approached in this manner, ask the contractor to provide you with references. Ask for a copy of their business license and check their work history with a consumer protection agency, such as the Better Business Bureau. In Georgia, if a contract involves sale, lease or rental of goods or services, is a written agreement between two or more parties, was entered into at a place that is not a regular place of business, like your home, and is for more than $25, you have the right to cancel that contract within three business days. Be sure to get everything in writing and be sure that all warranties are included. If you think that someone is trying to scam you, contact the local police or file a complaint with the George Department of Law Consumer Protection Unit. If you have been approached by this couple, please contact the Smyrna police at 770-434-6666.
Waggoner Insurance hopes that every homeowner can avoid becoming a victim of predators like those described in the police report. We can provide you with protection for you home in the form of homeowner’s insurance that will be there for you should tragedy strike. Let us look over all your insurance policies, including life, home, health and auto to be sure you and your family are fully protected. Give us a call or visit us online.
Marietta Daily Journal