Homeowner, phone and check-laundering scams loom before the fall season, Better Business Bureau says

CHICAGO (WLS) — Fall brings new scams. The Better Business Bureau is asking homeowners to be aware of the most common scams this time of year.

These scams include home improvement, furnace, roofing, and other seasonal scams.

“The fall season is notorious for home improvement scams,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau. “Scammers see this time as an excellent opportunity to rip off homeowners and, in some cases, steal thousands of dollars for unnecessary or poor work.”

Typical home improvement scams include chimney and roof repairs, gutter cleaning, energy audits, and more.

RELATED: How scammers used cell to clean out a man’s bank account

The BBB also warns of Medicare fraud as open enrollment begins Oct. 15. The scammer tells you that if you don’t re-enroll, your Medicare will be discontinued.

“Scammers who claim to be a ‘healthcare advocate or some similar title,’ will claim they can enroll you in a better program than what you currently have,” Bernas said. “(Scammers) will claim that this new plan is cheaper and you can keep the same services. To get started, all you need to do is provide some personal information like your Medicare ID number. Of course, the call is a scam, and sharing personal information leaves you vulnerable to identity theft.”

Check laundering is also a problem, according to the BBB. Fraudsters wash checks in a simple bath of household chemicals to erase the original name and dollar amount on the check. The process leaves a blank space where the name “Pay To” and the dollar amount used to be.

A simple $25 birthday check can be converted into a $2,500 check. Experts estimate the deal is worth $815 million and counting.

“Even businesses are now affected,” Bernas said. “Anyone who writes and mails a check is at risk.”

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https://abc7chicago.com/bbb-better-business-bureau-check-washing-scam-fraud/12282509/ Homeowner, phone and check-laundering scams loom before the fall season, Better Business Bureau says

Russell Falcon

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