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Beltrami County: Sheriff’s office clarifies scam calls

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Beltrami County: Sheriff’s office clarifies scam calls

BEMIDJI — Ding-dong, knock-knock, a construction company has scouted you as a potential client. It offers to repair your eroding, cracked driveway. Why, it’s your lucky day — until you receive a bill for an amount exceeding what you anticipated the work to cost. Were you scammed?

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The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office says no.

In response to residents speculating on Facebook that "scammers" were prowling their neighborhoods, the sheriff’s office offered some clarification and advice. Several complaints have been reported to the sheriff’s office regarding people being approached with offers from home improvement contractors.

The sheriff’s office said it is imperative a homeowner obtain a written, signed contract for services before a project is started. The contract should include the actual costs and full scope of the work, including a beginning and end date.

"We urge our citizens to get everything in writing in a legal contract form to avoid unforeseen costs," the sheriff’s office said in a release.

When entering into any business transaction with a contractor, officials urge people to check the contractor’s legitimacy with the Better Business Bureau.

"Citizens that feel they were charged too much for these services may consider this a scam," the sheriff’s office said. "It is not."

According to officials, a scam is a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation such as a family emergency scam. In an emergency scam, a caller asks for money or personal information while pretending to represent a family member who is in jail or needs help for other reasons.

If a job is not done to a homeowner’s satisfaction, the sheriff’s office advises working with the contractor or consulting legal assistance.

More information about legal action can be found at

www.mncourts.gov. The Better Business Bureau can be reached by phone at (800) 646-6222 or online at http://minnesota.bbb.org

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Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts and Beltrami county government for The Bemidji Pioneer. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
(218) 333-9200 x343
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