East Hawaii News

HPD: Elderly Targeted by Repair Work Scam

January 22, 2016, 10:38 AM HST
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Authorities are warning the public of a potential scam on the Big Island that appears to be targeted towards the elderly.

The Hawai’i Police Department reports that unlicensed contractors are believed to be soliciting elderly citizens to hire them for various residential projects, including power washing and painting homes and roofs, paving driveways, and performing auto body and mechanical repair work.

In the scam, the unlicensed contractor asks for full payment upfront, claiming that time that material and supplies need to be purchased in advance.

The victim may verbally agree and pay the unlicensed contractor, who completes a portion of the agreed upon work and leaves, claiming that he or she will return to complete the job. Police say attempts from victims to contact the individual come up empty and the individual never returns to complete the job.

HPD cautions the public against agreeing to have residential improvement projects completed before doing their own research.

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Asking for documents of identification from the individuals performing the work and only signing a written contract that specifies the conditions of the project and a deadline may help in preventing these scams.

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Those who may have been victimized in this type of scam should call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or go to the nearest police station to file a complaint.

In addition, consumers can contact the State of Hawai’i Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs Division of the Regulated Industries Complaints Office by calling (808) 587-3222.

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