Sheriff warns against home-improvement scams

MADISON -  The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of home-improvement scams in the area.  Sheriff Vern Hjorth says the scammers are skilled at making it sound as if what they have to sell is a great deal, but that more often-than-not, it turns out to be a rip off.  In the past week, men claiming to have leftover asphalt from previous jobs have rung to doorbells of Madison County residents, offering to do patch-up work to the homeowners’ driveways and have bilked the homeowners out of thousands of dollars.  Hjorth says the scam artists have also solicited business offering to repair roofs, seal driveways and paint houses.  The Sheriff urges residents to work with local firms, get multiple estimates, check contractor references, and if possible check the quality of past work.  Hjorth says before you sign a contract, you should make sure the company is registered with the state board or contractors or the local building inspection office.  The sheriff stresses that you should never pay in full up front, especially if cash is the only payment method the contractors will accept. Hjorth says if you suspect you are either the victim or a targeted victim of a scam, you should call you local law enforcement agency.