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It's like Kryptonite for con men and its going to be available in Kalamazoo

by
Judy Sivak, Director of the Area Agency on Aging with a copy of the flyer in her hand.
Judy Sivak, Director of the Area Agency on Aging with a copy of the flyer in her hand.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Every year despite warnings from consumer groups and police agencies, home owners are tricked into losing hundreds if not thousands of dollars to slick-talking rovers who appear at their doors with unbelievable offers to fix their roof or repave their driveway.

They usually work the warm weather states during the winter and move into the north during the spring and summer.

Now a new tool to combat the con men is being offered in Kalamazoo County.

Judy Sivak with The Area Agency on Aging says its particularly a problem with older residents who may be more vulnerable to such scams because they are more trusting, but anyone can become a victim.

They have come up with a one page form that homeowners can present to the solicitor at the door and ask that it be completed, with the caveat that the homeowner never does any major home improvements without getting several bids, or doing background checks on tradesmen.She says it’s worked in the other counties where it has already been introduced.

She says they are working with the Sheriffs Department to have the information on the forms verified, if the person at the door is indeed willing to fill out the form. Sheriff Richard Fuller says just the act of presenting the form at the door usually scares off the crooks.

He says if Kalamazoo gets the reputation for having the forms in circulation, they might just skip the county altogether.

They say it it’s a handy device for any homeowner to have to get rid of questionable solicitors.

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