Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Ira Quillen
Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg Police say they are seeing an increase in contractor scams. They say a lot of scammers are traveling from state to state targeting elderly homeowners, then skipping town.
Noreen, police, homeowners and honest contractors are all upset about this. The contractors say scammers are taking a huge chunk of their business, but police say there are a few red flags we can all look out for to avoid being scammed.
Contractors often conquer heights and brave the elements. but now many say they have to fight for their reputations and livelihoods against scammers.
"It takes away jobs that people need. We're unable to go out there and perform a legitimate service for customers," Blake Hudson, president of Krantz Exteriors Inc.
Lynchburg Police say they are seeing surge in scams.
"They brought in a machine to the attic and basically charged them four to five thousand dollars for the work that they didn't do," said Detective T. A. Rodes with the Lynchburg Police Department.
Investigators say scammers are even botching good roofs like this.
"We'll have to go back and correct that. And, that's more money out of a client's pocket," said Hudson.
LPD says they will patrol neighborhoods and check out suspicious contractors, but the biggest line of defense is you.
"You want to take the time to check it out, you want to make sure these people are bonded or they have insurance because are assuming some of the liability if they show up on your someone is injured on your property," said Rodes.
They also recommend being wary of contractors who come to your door suggesting work. The Virginia Board for Contractors recommends getting at least three estimates.
"One thing I would recommend is contacting your insurance also if you are going to have some work because of damages. Have them send an adjuster out there so you can be in the loop in the beginning so you're not left holding the bag on that," said Rodes.
There are a lot of ways you can check out your contractor. You can contact the Better Business Bureau, and the state has a hotline for seniors to use.
You can get more information online.