A senior and avid reader of The Town Sound was sorry to say that she had recently been scammed. My daughter and I sat down with her and heard the details. To protect her (the homeowner) I will not be using her name. In this article, the words "she" or "her" are referring to the homeowner.
A man rang this lady's door bell and she answered the door. He was nicely - but not overly - dressed and was very personable when he talked. He said he had a small crew working in the neighborhood and wondered if she needed any work done. She did not want them to have access inside the house BUT she thought of some work that needed to be done outside. (Someone local had come over last year and given her a price to fix the driveway. She mistakenly gave him a hefty deposit. He never did the work and only returned some of the money. He is not returning her calls, and it looks like she is out the rest - $500.)
Okay, back to the professional scammer. He looked at the work and told her how much it would cost. It was less than the local man quoted her, but not so low as to cause suspicion. She thought that it was a good price, but wasn't sure about the situation. To calm any fears she might have, the scammer said that she would not have to pay him anything until the work was finished - and done to her complete satisfaction. She could not resist this seemingly great offer. But she still tried to be cautious.
The scammer got her involved in helping him and his crew, and had her remove her diamond ring so it "wouldn't get ruined." The scammer knew where she had placed the ring, and distracted her with work-related stuff. When she next looked to check on the work progress, there was no one there. They were long gone. She looked for her ring, but it was gone too. The "crew" never intended on doing any work, only on scamming her. It could have been worse if she had been more trusting but, still, she got scammed. She called the police but there wasn't much that they could do at that point. The officer told her that his own grandmother had been scammed in a similar fashion.
Be aware of this scam! Do not let anyone do any work at your house unless you know them or you have contacted them first. Ask for their ID to verify information. If you have ANY suspicion at all, call someone you trust or call the police. The police know what questions to ask and they want to stop these scammers also!
And remember: Most scammers are pleasant individuals and nice talkers!