Boston Police Warn Public Of Summer Home Improvement, Contractor Scams

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — With summer on the horizon, the Boston Police Department says the season may bring more than just sunburns and beach days.

In a community alert, officials say the summer brings more solicitation from international travelers that offer home improvement work, but leave projects unfinished or worse off. The BPD says in past years, Boston residents have paid tens of thousands of dollars for jobs like masonry and paving, only to find property damage

Officials say scammers have been known to use the following tactics:

  • Practice door-to-door solicitation, using paper flyers with uninspired business names.
  • Will offer discounts because of “left over materials” from neighborhood jobs.
  • Are high pressure – will exaggerate need for work to be done immediately.
  • After completing initial work, they may show threatening or intimidating demeanor.
  • They will ask checks be made out to them individually and not the company name.

Boston Police say most individuals traveling to the United States are under a program that does not allow for them to work within the country. Other warning signs are if workers disregard the City of Boston Building Permits required for the job, or if their companies are unregistered with the City or State with a relatively new website.

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"For any work on your property you should obtain a minimum of two estimates from reputable companies who will carry the appropriate insurance, licenses, apply for the appropriate permits and provide references and coverage to you for their work after completion," the BPD said.

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