Polk Sheriff warns of home repair scams - WFLA News Channel 8

Polk Sheriff warns of home repair scams

Posted: Updated:
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is reminding residents to watch out for and report any suspicious activity involving door-to-door home repair solicitors.

Judd says that deputies have recently spotted people hauling heavy equipment and driving expensive trucks with out-of-state tags in Polk County who could be suspicious home repair solicitors.

Judd refers to these people as "traveling scam artists" who often prey on the elderly. He says they use several scams that have a common theme; it sounds too good to be true.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office offers several tips to remember when dealing with those who solicit home improvement business door-to-door:

  • Request a written estimate on all home improvement offers and compare the prices.
  • Do not be rushed into a "special bargain" which is often described as a "one-time" offer.
  • Do not do any business with any contractor with an out-of-state vehicle license.
  • Any legitimate Polk County business soliciting work will have a Business Tax Receipt from the Polk County Tax Collector, a soliciting permit from the Clerk of the Courts, and a Florida Contractor's License. If they do not have all of these, do not do business with them.
  • Be careful responding to any roadside sign offering work.
  • Call trusted family or friends to help you verify soliciting contractors.
  • Do not pay for anything until all services are completed to your satisfaction.
  • Do not give out credit card numbers over the phone.

Judd says your best option is not to do business with any traveling soliciting contractor. Contact local trusted construction companies and ask for references for honest local contractors.

Report all suspicious offers or solicitations to the Sheriff's Office immediately at (863) 298-6200.

Consumers can verify that an individual or business is licensed by going to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's website at www.myfloridalicense.com.

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