This news item expired on Thursday, January 31, 2013 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
Some con artists work and travel in organized groups. These “travelers” descend on an area, scam as many local residents as possible, and move on. Groups of scammers from South Carolina and Virginia often travel through North Carolina on their way back home for the holidays.
The travelers usually begin their con by knocking on your door, offering to pave your driveway, fix your roof, paint your home, or make other repairs. In most cases, their repairs are unnecessary, overpriced and poorly done, if the scammers do any real work at all.
These teams of con artists are also known to use “distraction” scams, where one or two people keep a homeowner occupied while a third crook, who may pretend to be ill or pregnant, scours the place stealing cash, jewelry and other valuables.
Many of these firms and individuals are now prohibited from doing business in North Carolina after Attorney General Cooper took action against them in court. But the best protection against scammers is a well-informed consumer. Be very skeptical when someone knocks on your door offering to do work, no matter how convincing they may be.
If you spot travelers or other suspicious groups operating in your neighborhood, call local law enforcement. If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.