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Summer scams: what you need to know about yard work, moving, and travel

Published On: May 22 2014 04:09:00 PM CDT

Summer travel scams

With Memorial Day and the end of the school calendar coming soon, it's time to turn our attention to summer.

Unfortunately, so are scammers as they are looking to steal your money.

Some scammers execute what's called an in-person blitz, where people canvas a neighborhood door to door offering to repair a driveway, paint a house or clean out your gutters.

These companies say they are in your area doing a job for somebody else and demand a payment up front for work done.

Be suspicious of unsolicited offers, get references and more than one written estimate and try to use local companies with a verifiable address.

A common scam with moving companies is the hostage situation. They pack up your house, move you to the new location, but refuse to unload the truck unless you pay extra, saying they had a price increase because your belongings weigh more than anticipated.

Ask for references, such as your real estate agent, work with a company that gives an on-site inspection and bid and make sure you understand a contract before signing.

Use caution when looking for a summer job. Look out for those jobs that promise a lot of money for little work or work from home opportunities. Some do not have a written job description or formal interview. If it is something you are interested in, research the company thoroughly and don't share personal information until you accept a job.

Summer travel scams on rental homes and condos where you find a listing on-line, typically Craigslist, and you pay up front.

However, you show up and the property doesn't exist. Make sure the seller has a valid address and phone number. Use a mapping website to make sure the address exists and that there is actually a house on the property. Ask for references and pay with a credit card in case you need to dispute the charges. 

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