WILMINGTON — Earlier this month, the Wilmington Police Department warned residents about potential door-to-door scams against homeowners in this area. Deputy Chief Brian Pupa mentioned to the Town Crier that this region has recently seen an increase in the number of reported door-to-door scams since earlier this fall.
Pupa shared that the scams have been mostly home repair offers to elderly homeowners that seem too good to be true.
“They’ll show up at houses and offer work at reduced rates,” he said. “They might say they were in the area, they noticed a need for work, and that they have extra materials.”
Then, the scammers would start the work, increase their prices, and perform shoddy home repair — or not finish home repair — that leaves residents out of money and still needing professional work afterwards.
Should residents or community members receive these kinds of offers, the department offers several pieces of advice.
“Scammers will often use contracts — don’t rush; ask them to come back another day,” Pupa continued.
They also recommend asking for references, requesting a bid in writing and seeking other offers, and not feeling pressured or paying large deposits, especially in cash. It’s important that residents make sure that they’re taking time to hire a reputable contractor for home repair.
Pupa also said that in these situations, it’s hard to get the residents’ money back.
“If they’re concerned, they can call the police department and we’ll come down to check it out.”
The announcement from WPD also reads that all door-to-door solicitors are required to be registered with the WPD. While they haven’t had any similar reports since they issued the warnings, they want residents to remain alert and prepared to say no.
Suspicious activity can be reported to WPD at 978-658-5071 or 911.