These days, it seems like there are scams everywhere. It’s a sad reality, and one that we do our best to educate you and the rest of our readers on so that we can all be more vigilant consumers. Previously, we have spread the word on conniving repairmen and sneaky mechanics, but today we have one that caught even us by surprise.
An Ohio news station recently aired a story about how a mysterious group of people was going around re-painting addresses onto homeowners’ curbs. To the Mentor-on-the-Lake residents, it seemed like a city service of some sort—until they received a knock at the door.
As it turns out, the would-be painters were actually small-time crooks who were just trying to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting residents. The crew that freshened up the curbside addresses were not commissioned by either the city or an HOA; they just took it upon themselves to do the work and demand the money.
And demand the money is exactly what they did! Before the paint could even dry on those curbs, members of this crime group went door-to-door with strong words for the residents who live in the homes.
They claimed that their paint jobs were requested by the city and that they needed to be paid for their work. Although most residents coughed up the cash, one discerning homeowner told them to beat it.
In an interview with local news station WEWS, resident Tom Horvoth explains why he went against the grain and kept his wallet firmly in his back pocket.
“I don’t pay for anything I didn’t request,” the homeowner states. “I didn’t give them any money.”
It certainly is a simple explanation, but the sentiment is one that local police are relaying to the other homeowners of Mentor-on-the-Lake. The town’s police chief is urging residents of the small Lake Erie town to report similar scams directly to the department.
How to avoid getting scammed
As with most things in life, the first step in becoming a vigilant consumer is to know who you are paying. Consider Mr. Horvoth’s advice—if you never requested something, why would you pay for it in the first place?
With that said, we know that it’s sometimes easier to cough up a couple bucks to get someone off your back than go through the trouble of reporting a possible scam. While we do all have busy lives, it’s important that you alert your local police department to anything that may seem fishy.
If you Google the phrase “curb painting scams”, you’ll see what we mean. There are literally hundreds of reports of similar incidents from all over the country. It may seem like a small annoyance, but it IS a crime!
To get the full story for yourself, as well as further advice from law enforcement, be sure to watch the video. The nerve of some people!
We’d love to hear what you have to say about this unexpected scam. Have you ever fallen victim to a similar curb-painting ploy? If so, did you report it to authorities? Are there any other new rip-offs floating around that you would like people to know about?