Home Improvement Scam Targets Elderly Resident In Narragansett: Police

NARRAGANSETT, RI — Narragansett police have issued a warning to residents about a recent report of a home improvement scam.

On Monday, an elderly resident called Narragansett police about a potential home improvement scam. The resident told officers three men requested a cash down payment for home improvement work, and the workers only completed a small amount of work before leaving and never returning.

Police said this type of scam is common and often targets seniors. The targeted homes are typically in need of legitimate repairs. The scammers then contact the homeowners and introduce themselves as construction workers who are looking to help families with repair and construction projects related to foundations, masonry, chimneys and roofing. Once the cash is handed over, the laborers do a minimal amount of work and do not return to the home to complete the project.

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Narragansett Police Chief Sean Corrigan said similar scams have also occurred in other cities and towns in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

“We urge our residents to be cautious in lieu of the recent home improvement scams preying on our elderly,” Corrigan said. “Stay vigilant, verify contractors, and report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Together we can protect our community from these deceitful practices.”

The Narragansett Police Department offered the following safety tips from the Federal Trade Commission to prevent becoming a victim of scams.

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  • Consider only contractors who are licensed and insured.
  • Ask the contractor for proof of insurance.
  • Get contractor recommendations from people you know and trust.
  • Search online for the company’s name with words like “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.”
  • Read customer reviews to find out more about the contractor, and use online rating websites you trust to see what others are saying about the contractor.
  • Get multiple estimates. A written estimate should include a description of the work to be done, materials, completion date, and the price. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder. And ask for an explanation if there’s a big difference among the estimates.
  • Don’t pay the full amount for the project up front.

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