Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and the start of door-to-door summer scams.
Jim Hegarty, with the Better Business Bureau in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says they’re already getting complaints about one group knocking on doors in the region.
“They claim to be raising money for veterans and active soldiers,” Hegarty says. “We’ve investigated the company they claim to be representing and they have an ‘F’ rating. They’ve been the subject of law enforcement investigations down south.”
Young people are sometimes recruited by crooks to take part in bogus fund-raising schemes.
“There’s going to be kids showing up at our doors selling magazines or candy bars to fund mission trips or going to camp,” Hegarty says. “In some cases, it could be legitimate but it really is wise to just take some information from them and let them know that if you’re able to check them out and find out that it’s reputable and worthwhile, then you’d be happy to maybe make a contribution.”
Another door-to-door scam that’s bringing complaints in the region involves home security systems.
“They may say they’re with ADT or Protection One or another well-known company,” Hegarty says. “What we’re learning is, a lot of times, the bad actors use reputable names like ADT just to get a foothold, get in your door and get you to switch contracts and get you engaged in a deal that’s not going to be favorable to you.”
He says to also watch out for fly-by-night offers from traveling scam artists who offer to do home repairs, tree trimming or seal your driveway. Don’t make on-the-spot decisions.
To make a contribution to real charities, he suggests donations can be made online at give.org, a service offered by the BBB.