Summer home repair scam hits Livingston County residents in Illinois

PONTIAC (Heartland Newsfeed) — A local sheriff in Livingston County has warned residents to look out for scammers this summer; scam artists are offering home repair services at a discounted rate to Illinois citizens without following through, according to The Pantagraph.

Reports of door-to-door con artists have been springing up across Livingston County with claims that three pickup trucks are harboring scammers targeting elderly neighbors. According to these reports, the scammers have intimidated homeowners into “hiring” their services only to demand large sums and not follow through on the projects.

Sheriff Tony Childress details some of the claims from victims.

“The individuals are offering, tricking people into a tar and chip driveway job. They then demand a payment that is not in line with the work performed,” he said in a statement on July 5.

The scammers will also fail to provide a final estimate to homeowners before taking their money, according to Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She claims that seniors are targeted most often.

Only a state away, the Greater Green Bay area’s Habitat for Humanity has approved its new home improvement program designed to help lower income residents in Wisconsin. For projects under $1,500, this program hopes to aid homes of low to moderate incomes with maintenance issues and repairs both inside and outside of the home.

This great benefit for Green Bay is inaccessible for Illinois residents. As more homeowners are pressured into repairs without following the correct safety procedures, many of them are being taken advantage of.

This comes at a time when home maintenance is at a summer high and prices for repairs are soaring. Homeowners need to be careful when they select the right repair company. When a small roof repair can cost nearly $400 without the cost of hourly labor, it’s no wonder that many fall victim to this type of scam.

Homeowners in Illinois need to watch out for these scammers. They should report any suspicious activity to their local police station; this can include door-to-door scammers pressuring you in your home or by looking for out-of-state license plates on unregistered vehicles.

Illinois isn’t the only state that’s experiencing scammers, however. Iowa resident, Randy Meier, notes the importance of verifying home repair businesses.

“Ask to see the contractor’s liability insurance certificate. Don’t pay large sums in advance. Some contractors want half up front, for ‘materials.’ If so, make the check out directly to the supplier,” he emphasizes.

He goes on to note that most official contractors won’t push back on any of your requests. If any home repair service fails to supply the proper information, there are always other options to fall back on in your area.

For citizens in Illinois, home repairs are a prominent feature of summer home improvement. When nearly 76% of American homeowners opt to upgrade their kitchen during home improvement ventures, it’s necessary to hire a contractor you trust. Avoiding door-to-door scammers is the first step to keeping your assets safe from harm.

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