Be alert to potential for scams so you’re not a victim

It’s a sad, but necessary, reminder to people to be on the lookout for scams and scam artists in the area.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks reminds people that the warmer spring weather is welcomed by many, including people who want to separate residents from their hard-earned money.

We say be careful in the contractors you may hire for a home fix up project, or a company that might offer a great deal on an upcoming trip. The adage about “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” remains as relevant today as it has through the years.

Mincks says if someone calls to offer doing work around your home, get their name and number and tell them you’ll call back. Then, do some basic investigative work on your own by checking them out on the Internet to see if they are legitimate.

A red flag with a contractor, according to Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings, would be if they ask for a big payment up front – before any work is done.

Other useful tips for consumers:

– Get references or check with the Better Business Bureau.

– Make sure they are registers to operate in the state by making them show you proof of registration.

– Don’t give out personal information such as a Social Security number.

– Be wary of people going door-to-door looking for business.

– High-pressure tactics often are another red flag for the consumer.

You work hard for your money and you should be extremely vigilant in spending it. Make sure you don’t fall prey to a scam.

If you do become a victim, call police as soon as possible.