June 25, 2024

Local law enforcement agencies from several parishes in Louisiana, including Port Allen Police Department and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, have issued a scam warning for the elderly and homeowners. A recent telephone scam has been targeting these groups with scammers pretending to be a local law enforcement agent asking for payment over a call or through digital transactions in exchange for avoiding arrest.

Keep in mind that the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office would never solicit payments through a phone call or digital methods like GreenDot, CashApp, Venmo or PayPal for arrest matters. If you receive an unexpected call of this nature, hang up quickly. You can contact APSO at (225) 621-8300 or your local authorities to report suspicious calls.

Homeowners Beware: Home Improvement and Contractor Scams

In the East Feliciana region, the Sheriff’s office has been notified of fraudulent activities involving asphalt contractors. These fraudsters offer to fix or pave driveways for homeowners at a reasonable price. When the work is halfway done and the driveway is unusable, they demand higher amounts to finish the job. Similar instances of scams have been reported by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) in the Monroe region, marking the first scam case in Louisiana this year.

These scams especially surge during wintertime in the south. Scammers often offer home improvement services like painting, driveway repairs, roof sealing, tree pruning, and many others. In some cases, they may sabotage a property and offer inexpensive fixes. They may work in pairs, with one engaging you in conversation while the other one steals from your home. The quality of work done is generally poor, and they often leave the job unfinished.

The East Feliciana Sheriff’s Office suggests six tips to protect yourself from scams. Be wary of high-pressure sales methods, cash-only deals, or upfront payments. Do thorough checks on the contractors: evaluate their references and visit websites like the Better Business Bureau’s to authenticate their credentials. It’s essential to get written contracts and understand your local laws. Never feel rushed into making a decision. Lastly, if you fall victim to a scam, report it to your local authorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some red flags to look out for in potential scams?

“Peculiarities such as high-pressure sales tactics, cash-based transactions, demand for upfront payment, and refusal to have a written contract or onsite inspection could indicate a scam potential”

How can I verify the rofessionalism of a contractor?

“You can check a contractor’s professionalism through various means. Checking their references is a good starting point. For additional measures, you can visit websites like Better Business Bureau to authenticate their credentials.”

What should I do if I’ve been scammed?

“If you believe you’ve been a victim of a scam, report the incident to your local authorities. Avoid confronting the scammers yourself especially if you feel threatened.”