COLUMBUS - Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning Ohioans to watch for traveling scam artists offering home repairs.
"We've received at least one report of suspected travelers in Clinton County," DeWine said in a news release. "With just a few weeks of summer left, we don't want to take any chances. We're warning all Ohioans to be skeptical of anyone who shows up unexpectedly offering home repairs."
Known by law enforcement as "travelers," the professional con artists typically make their way through Ohio and other northern states during the summer months, the release states.
They provide a verbal estimate to pave driveways or repair roofs for a very low price, then charge a lot more money in the end and do extremely shoddy work, according to DeWine.
Travelers often target middle-class homeowners, especially those older than 60, the release states. Travelers generally dress professionally, speak politely and drive well-maintained vehicles, which gives homeowners the false impression that they are trustworthy.
In many cases, travelers lie to homeowners, telling them their driveway or roof needs to be repaired. They often tell homeowners that they just finished paving their neighbor's driveway and have asphalt left over that they are willing to sell for a very low price, according to DeWine.
Other times, travelers "seal" a driveway or roof with a useless mixture of diesel oil and paint that will wash off in the rain.
Some travelers revisit their previous victims weeks later to offer phoney follow-up repairs or more seal-coating. Again, the work is completely substandard, even if the victim does not realize it at the time, DeWine's office states.
Consumers also should check a company's reputation with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau before paying any money.
Report any suspicions to local law enforcement and to the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.