Police warn transient contractors back in Charlotte area

Police warn transient contractors back in Charlotte area

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 6:41 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Police warn a group of people known for scamming homeowners with quick home repair jobs are back in the greater Charlotte area, and say it’s likely just a matter of time until someone becomes a victim.

They’re known as Irish Travelers and come to the area from the North Augusta, SC area every spring.

"We have some of those folks that are in this area and they may be working or may not have started yet,” said Gaston County Police Sergeant Myron Shelor.

Shelor says when Irish Travelers previously took $1,900 from an elderly Gastonia woman but didn’t do the promised work.

Shelor says typical scams include knocking on doors unsolicited and saying they have leftover materials from a big job, so they can paint your house, fix cracks in your driveway or roof your house for very little money.

"Their work tends to be very shoddy, very crude or they may not finish it at all,” Shelor said.  "Or, they get close to the end and say we went over, so it's going to cost you more and demand more money and strong-arm people for more money.  They typically want cash only and don't take any other kind of payments.”

Shelor says they're also known to do is target the elderly and break into homes while the homeowner is distracted by all the repair talk.

They don’t sign contracts, won’t give local references or phone numbers and don’t stick around long, Shelor said.  If they don’t or won’t provide that information, think twice, he said.

So far there are no reports of people being scammed in Gaston County, but Shelor says victims often don't report these types of crimes because they're embarrassed.

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