Transient contractor scam alert
STAR JOURNAL STAFF
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of transient home improvement scammers that were seen in the area recently. Marathon and Lincoln County home owners were visited by men acting as contractors and offering quick home repairs or preventive maintenance for only a small amount of cash.
Historically, scammers work in several ways, the actual amount they charge the homeowner is normally much larger than the quoted price, the workmanship or materials are usually very poor at best, and by the time the check is cashed and the homeowner realizes the job is subpar or wasn’t completed, the suspects are long gone.
This past week a group of men came to a home in the town of Corning and approached a homeowner promising to provide a sealant to her metal roof in order provide a barrier against moisture. The suspect offered to demonstrate the product when two other men emerged from the truck and started applying it to the entire roof.
Fortunately another family member arrived at the home and when confronted the men quickly left.
According to the Sheriff’s office, the man who contacted the woman is believed to be eastern European and in his 40s, while the other men were believed to be younger. One of the “workers” had a cast on his left leg and used crutches.
They were operating a silver GMC truck, early 2000 model with tinted windows, a black ladder rack and ladders and a piece of carpet hanging off the back, which law enforcement believes was used to obscure the rear plate. The front of the vehicle had a chrome bumper and no plate. Based on information gathered by a deputy investigating the incident it is believed the vehicle may have an Indiana license plate.
In the case in Marathon County the vehicle description is similar but the home owner described it as white.
If anyone sees them or has any transient contractor visit their home contact local law enforcement office immediately. If you are able to safely, take any pictures of the suspects or their vehicles and we will share them with the public. Callers may also reach out to Crime Stoppers at 715-536-3726 or by using their app https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=604#
If you need repairs to your home you are encouraged to ask friends, family and neighbors for the names of local, reputable and insured contractors. Please educate elderly relatives, friends and neighbors as they are a common target of these traveling thieves.
The attached photos were taken at the Lincoln County home where the suspected scammers stopped.