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Popular summer scams: what to look for

Summer is a great time to take a vacation, take care of home repairs or find a summer job. Unfortunately, scammers don’t take a summer vacation, so be on the lookout for these popular summer scams:

Door-to-Door/In-person Blitzes: Door-to-door scams tend to target seniors because they are more likely to be at home during the day. Many legitimate companies use door-to-door sales techniques, but there are some industries who may not be trustworthy. They can offer deals on alarm systems, magazine subscriptions, outdoor home maintenance or driveway paving and repair. Remember, you are under no obligation to open the door, but be sure you get everything in writing and understand the contract before signing.

Moving Scams: Common complaints include damaged or missing items, bills higher than estimates, late deliveries or even goods held hostage for additional payments. Get three bids from prospective moving companies, make sure they have insurance and that they visit the home before giving an estimate. Look out for movers who demand cash or a large deposit before the move, who don’t provide you a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet that movers are required to supply to customers planning interstate moves, and when a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned truck on moving day. Learn about your rights at or from your state attorney general’s office.

Employment Scams: Do your homework and research the company. Visit their website or LinkedIn page or contact the company directly and speak to the hiring manager. Be wary of employers who require up-front fees for training and background checks. Be cautious of online job postings with poor grammar and spelling and advertising a high salary for little to no experience.

Summer Travel Scams: Consumers can fall victim to travel scams, whether it’s promising free or discounted trips or posting phony rental listings. Be cautious when searching for travel deals or rentals on websites like when looking online. Scammers contact the victims and ask for the deposit to be wired or paid via prepaid debit card. Unfortunately, when the victim arrives to the location, it turns out that it’s nowhere to be found or it looks nothing like the picture online. Use Google Street View to confirm the property exists. Use reputable websites, read reviews and get everything in writing.

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