The newest scam has to do with landscapers. They are the victims. Here’s how it goes:
A scammer calls a landscaper to do work on an older person’s home who no longer lives there or a house for sale that is vacant. The scammer represents that he is the owner of the home or the new buyer who just closed on the home. He wants to redo the landscaping of the front yard, removing the existing lawn and replacing it with new sod and a sprinkler system. The scammer states his name and gives a phone number.
The scammer follows up with a text to meet and discuss the work at the house. The landscaper goes to the property but the scammer never shows up. He apologizes saying there was an emergency but could the landscaper text him the proposal and meet him at the property the next day to get a check. Again the scammer doesn’t show up. The scammer states that he had an emergency with his father (or wife, or sister, or friend) who has cancer (or got into an auto accident…) and wants the landscaper to proceed with the work. He assures the landscaper that the payment is in the mail.
Then he asks the landscaper to help him. Since he has already paid the money to the landscaper could he help him out by sending $800 via Zelle or Venmo to a plumber who’s going to redo the plumbing. That way the landscaper can put in the sprinkler lines right away.
Five landscapers were contacted by a scammer on a property that I have listed. One of them went ahead and did the work. The others thought it sounded fishy and called me. After all there was a real estate sign on the property…..