Rental Scam. This morning The Herald reported that a Mukilteo man lost $2,400 in a rental scam. The victim replied to a Craigslist ad for a house rental. Scammers will mimic or steal a legitimate listing for a rental or house sale, offering a monthly rent well below that being listed. Often the listing looks legitimate; however, the person listing the ad will not show the property in person. They may say that they are in another city, state or even another country. Also, communication may be only by email, not in person or on the phone. A victim may pay “costs” up front before discovering that the property is not for rent or even owned by the person who took out the ad.
Paving Scam. AARP and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries have issued a warning about the paving scam. Typically, someone will knock on your door and tell you that they have extra asphalt that they need to get rid of from a job down the street. They say they will give you a good price to pave your driveway. If you receive any paving the workmanship is shoddy, and not worth the price that you paid. You are out your money and the con man is in the next county. According to Labor & Industries, one victim lost $6,000 in 2014 to one of these cons.
Labor and Industries recommends that you:
· Verify any contractor’s registration at www.ProtectMyHome.net or call 1-800-647-0982. Construction contractors must register with the Department of Labor and Industries.
· Get at least three written bids.
· Check contractor references.
· Pay only as work is completed.
· Download a Hire Smart worksheet and get more tips at www.ProtectMyHome.net.
IRS Scam. AARP is reminding everyone to watch out for the IRS Scam. IRS scammers are continuing to use this technique to steal millions from honest citizens. Be sure your family and friends know about this scam.
Top Scams for Week of April 6. In addition to the IRS scam, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) lists the Credit Card Interest Scam, Government Grant Scam, and the Debt Collection Scam as the top three scams for the week of April 6. For a detailed description of each scam go to:
Telephone Town Hall on Scams. AARP’s Fraud Watch Network is offering a telephone town hall on fraud and identity theft on April 14 between 9:00am and 10:00am. Special guest will be Frank Abagnale, a former master check forger who inspired the movie “Catch Me If You Can.” He now works with the FBI and AARP to teach everyone about fraud and scams and how to protect ourselves from becoming victims. Go to the following link to subscribe to this telephone town hall.