Repair and Air Conditioning Scams
The Hernando County regularly starts to receive complaints beginning in the spring and continuing
throughout the summer regarding FRAUDULENT CONTRACTORS! Although these scams typically target the
elderly they have also been used against anyone that will fall for the scam(s). The scam is
basically convincing YOU to purchase repairs, upgrades, UV lights, and/or any kind of service
you MAY NOT actually need. The sole purpose is to STEAL your money for work that IS NOT needed.
PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT ANY ESTIMATE FROM ANYONE without getting a 2nd opinion!
Things to be on the lookout for:
- Someone calling you or showing up at your home offering free or very cheap “inspections”. If you didn’t call them BE VERY LEARY OF ACCEPTING ANY REPAIRS without a 2nd opinion.
- You are having no problems with your a/c system, however they find that it is not working properly.
- They WILL NOT put “EVERYTHING” they are telling you in writing.
- They try to use “high pressure” tactics
- They try to discourage you from getting a 2nd opinion, by stating the “cheap” price they are offering is only good while they are at your home, once they leave they will honor the “cheap” price. THIS IS A HUGE RED FLAG!
- They offer to come back when they are “OFF DUTY” to do the work at a much cheaper price.
- If you’re a/c system stops working after they leave, your system MAY have been sabotaged.
- GET A 2ND OPINION FOR ANY WORK!!!
- IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF HIGH PRESSURE SALES AND THE PERSON REFUSES TO LEAVE CALL 911, THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE WILL BE GLAD TO ASSIST!
The Sheriff’s Office cannot make an arrest in these types of frauds unless there is clear evidence
that the work was not needed. Once the suspect contractor(s) completes the work the evidence is
usually destroyed and/or gone. By not having anything in writing there is no proof of what YOU were
told. Any contractor that WILL NOT put his findings and/or estimate in writing raises serious concerns.
PLEASE do everything you can to protect yourself, your family/friends and your neighbors.
Please be careful and remain on alert for counterfeit currency! There has been a large increase
in Hernando County with the passing of counterfeit currency. Primarily $20, $50 and $100 bills.
If you think you have received a counterfeit bill please contact the Sheriff’s Office to report it.
If you witness anyone passing counterfeit please take note of the person(s) description, location,
vehicle description and possibly tag number then call 911. DO NOT TAKE ANY ACTION THAT COULD JEOPARDIZE YOUR SAFETY!
Credit Card Text Message Scam
Please be aware of text messages stating “Suntrust ALERT-CARD LOCKED PLEASE CALL (303) 720-7420” or similar verbage. Upon calling a voice will direct you to enter your card number and other personal information. This appears to be a scam trying to trick people into giving up their credit card information. Other people have reported receiving similar texts from the same phone number for other banks as well.
TBO Scam News Video
Social Security Payment Diversion:
There have been numerous victims throughout Hernando County and the Tampa Bay area that
have had their Social Security Payment diverted to “Green Dot” credit/debit
cards. Please contact Social Security immediately to create a password to
protect your account from online/telephone access. Follow this link immediately
to protect yourself: https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do
Elderly residents information being used for Income Tax fraud:
Elderly residents and deceased persons identities are being used to commit income tax fraud. If you, a
relative and/or friend are no longer required to file an income tax return (by
qualifying per IRS rule: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96623,00.html
) but suspect your
information may have been used to file a fraudulent return can check your last
few years income tax activity from the IRS by using this link:
. If you find any fraudulent returns
contact your local law enforcement and/or the IRS to make an Identity Theft
report. (The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office will take a police report and
investigate as far as possible, some agencies may refer you directly to the
IRS). If your identity was used for income tax fraud be sure to file a fraud
alert with all 3 major credit reporting agencies (information can be found at: