Pictured is a vehicle Lincoln County authorities believe was used as part of a recent transient contractor scam.
7/18/2019 7:26:00 AM Lincoln County sheriff issues transient contractor scam alert
Lincoln County sheriff Ken Schneider is advising the public to be aware that transient home improvement scammers are in the area. Recently, in both Marathon and Lincoln counties, homeowners were visited by men acting as contractors and offering quick home repairs or preventive maintenance for only a small amount of cash, sheriff's officials said in a press release issued Tuesday morning.
"Historically, the scammers work in several ways, the actual amount they charge the homeowner is normally much larger than the quoted price, the workmanship or materials are usually very poor at best, and by the time the check is cashed and the homeowner realizes the job is subpar or wasn't completed, the suspects are long gone," the release states.
This past week a group of men came to a home in the Town of Corning and approached a homeowner promising to provide a sealant to her metal roof in order provide a barrier against moisture. The suspect offered to demonstrate the product and suddenly two other men emerged from the truck and started applying it to the entire roof, the release states.
Fortunately, another family member arrived at the home and the men quickly left. The person who contacted the woman is believed to be eastern European, he is in his 40s while his cohorts were believed to be younger.
One of the "workers" had a cast on his left leg and used crutches. They were operating a silver GMC truck, early 2000 model. It had a black ladder rack with ladders and the windows were tinted black. The vehicle also had a piece of carpet hanging off the back which law enforcement believes was used to obscure the rear plate. The front of the vehicle had a chrome bumper and no plate. Based on information gathered by a deputy investigating the incident it is believed the vehicle may have an Indiana license plate.
In the case in Marathon County the vehicle description is similar but the homeowner described it as white.
If you see them, or have any transient contractor visit your home, contact the Lincoln County sheriff's office or your local law enforcement office immediately. If you are able to safely, take any pictures of the suspects or their vehicles.
Callers may also reach out to Crime Stoppers at 715-536-3726 or by using their app https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=604#.
"If you need repairs to your home you are encouraged to ask friends, family and neighbors for the names of local, reputable and insured contractors," the release states. "We ask that you share this post and please educate your elderly relatives, friends and neighbors as they are a common target of these traveling thieves."
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