HOME REPAIR FRAUDS
KRGV-Channel 5 recently ran the story of a 72-year-old Donna woman who was scammed out of $7,500 by so-called home repairmen. It appeared they did nothing to repair a supposed leaky wall of her residence.
In Weslaco, during the 3rd week of January, a similar occurrence took place. The owner of a mobile home on Turquoise Drive was approached by a man and his twin sons, saying that they would weather strip the roof of the home. They did do some work, applying a thin (as paper) coat of white substance to the roof. The owner was charged $550 for the work, which the owner paid. Later, when the owner inspected the job, he determined that he had been grossly overcharged for the thin coating, which was already flaking off.
These men called themselves "Mobile Home Service." Their card gave Pharr as their location and a cell phone number. Their business card stated to ask for "Tom" or "Rich." I wonder if "Rich" is a real name, or if it is their financial status.
A second home repair fraud, perpetrated in Weslaco, occurred at Rio Valley Estates. This one was really extreme, although the crook did not get any money, mostly because of his greed. In this case, the repairman approached a 68-year-old resident of the park and told her that he wanted to inspect her trailer, which he said was under warranty by the manufacturer. Of course, his inspection revealed that the "chimney cap" needed to be replaced and when he told the resident that, he said that he had already completed the work. Great! Right? It was under warranty. The catch?
When he returned the next day, he told the resident that there was NO warranty after all, and that the resident owed him $18,200 for the work. That's right--over $18,000. Probably more than the trailer is worth. The lady wrote him a check for the amount. He came back, telling her that her check had bounced. Wouldn't yours?
This time, he said that she really needed to pay the bill, but he would settle for $7,220. Again, she wrote him a check. And again, lucky for her, it, too, bounced. Apparently, he gave up after two bounced checks. Thank goodness, she got the last laugh.
This man gave his name as Donald Brown and said he was a roofer. I can think of a better word for him. The man is Anglo, in his 40's or 50's. He was driving a brown El Camino truck.
If you have been the victim of a home repair scam or if someone has only attempted to scam you, call your local law enforcement agency and make a report. Always, be wary of anyone who approaches you by going door to door. The repairman could be legitimate, or he could be a crook just preying on older residents. Before you authorize any work, call a trusted friend, the city code enforcement department, or the Better Business Bureau, to check the person out. The BBB in Weslaco can be reached at (956) 969-1804. The City of Weslaco Code Enforcement number is (956) 447-3401.
ID Theft has become one of the most prevalent nonviolent crimes reported today. In just the last 3 months, 34 cases of this serious offense have been reported to the Weslaco Police Department. Usually, these cases involve a compromised Social Security number. If you are a victim of ID Theft or suspect you might be, below you will find website links that provide useful information.
www.texasfightsidtheft.gov www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/idtheft/idtheft2.htm www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
For information on how not to be a TARGET FOR THIEVES, click the following link ThievesPickTarget.pdf
PREVIOUS CHRISTMAS TIPS
When shopping, lock your car (and don't leave the baby inside).
When you unload your shopping cart into your car, do
a final check to make sure no items were left,
including your expensive smart phone.
Ladies, when you shop and carry your purse with you,
carry it in front of your body, so that you keep
an eye on it at all times.
Also, avoid carrying large amounts of cash and valuable
documents, such as birth certificates, social security
cards, and passports. If you use debit and credit
cards, just carry a couple of them.
And have a good day!
Be careful about having packages delivered to your home,
without someone there to receive them. A thief
could simply follow the UPS truck around
and pick up some nice gifts.
Especially during the Christmas season, thieves
drive around, looking for anything of value
in and around your house and yard.
They especially salivate over Christmas displays, including
lighted reindeer, Santa Clauses, and elves.
They really love the inflatable kind.
"FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED."."
Parties, alcohol, and driving. A dangerous
combination. It can lead to car
crashes, injury, and even death.
BE SMART. DON'T DO It!
Did you ever order a gift to be shipped by the Postal
Service or UPS, and you wondered why
delivery was taking so long?
Maybe it was snatched!
There are precautions you can take to prevent such
Take a look at this video produced by a Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania ABC affiliate.
See the video on Weslaco Crime Stoppers Facebook.
Unfortunately, the Christmas season, which is supposed to be
a joyous time, becomes just the opposite.
Instead of spreading good cheer, families fight among themselves.
Remember, it takes at least TWO to Tango (or tangle).
To defuse an argument, or even a fight, YOU
can always walk away. Try it.
IT IS BETTER TO GIVE
THAN TO RECEIVE.
TRY IT. YOU MIGHT LIKE IT.
As you Christmas shop in crowded stores, guard your purse (or wallet) with your life (not really)- it's not worth it). But do be careful with your valuables.
Pickpockets are just dying to get their hands on your cash, jewelry, birth certificates, and social security cards. Why are you carrying those documents, anyway? Keep your eyes wide open, and have a Merry Christmas. While doing Christmas shopping, if you see persons acting in a suspicious manner, call the police. Relay the exact location, a direction of travel (if any), what the suspicious activity is.
Describe the person by color of clothing approximate age, tall or short, thin or fat. If there is a car, provide its make, color, whether old or new, big or small. License plate numbers are always welcome.
You can also do the same thing in your neighborhood
. Who knows. Your call may prevent a crime.
Fire can be deadly during the cooler Christmas season.
Use care when operating space heaters, both gas and electric.
Do not overload electrical circuits. Lighted candles
are an accident waiting to happen.
Pre-plan an exit strategy in case of fire, especially
if you live in a mobile home.
And do not forget the danger of carbon monoxide.
IT CAN BE DEADLY!
BE WARY of pan-handlers that frequent intersections
on the frontage road and around the
businesses in the area.
Think twice before contributing. You have
no way to know what they use the donation for.
Instead, carry out the Christmas spirit by donating to
reputable charities, such as the American Red Cross, the
Salvation Army, and even your own church.
Christmas Day is almost here. Be happy; keep a cool head.
Remember the kids. Their feeling are fragile.
Christmas is not about you.