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Home moisture and termite testing scam identified in Chatham

By Angel Dennison
Posted Monday, March 9, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - According to the Chatham County Council on Aging, residents should beware of a scam reported in Fearrington Village by several residents. The scam involved a “home testing crew” going to homeowners without appointments, offering free testing for moisture damage, termites or both.

The test results “reveal” unreasonably high levels of moisture. “The crew then urges homeowners to pay for treatments costing more than $3,000”, said Angel Dennison, director of the Council on Aging.

However, it appears that the free test results are falsified, based on a report from one homeowner who ordered a second test from a legitimate company. “That retest showed no problems with moisture and no need for a costly treatment,” Dennison said.

Dennison urges homeowners to only work with people “that you have contacted yourself to do any testing, repairs or treatments of your home. Do not accept offers for free testing or related work.”

She said that these types of scams involving home repairs will be on the increase as the weather warms up. “If unexpected sales people or work crews show up at your door unannounced, you do not have to answer the door and you certainly should not let them in your home.”

If residents see suspicious activity, such as unknown work crews going door to door, they should contact law enforcement, either the Sheriff’s Office or Police Department. They also should contact any groups in their neighborhood who can help get out the word, such as local Neighborhood Watch teams, neighborhood associations, community newsletter editors and churches in the area.

For more information on how to avoid being a victim of scams of all types, contact Donna White, RN, N.C. Division on Aging and Adult Services, Elder Fraud Prevention and Victim's Assistance Task Force, at 919-733-0440.

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