(Forsyth County, GA) The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has posted a BOLO (be on the lookout) concerning pine straw scams.
According to the Facebook post, scammers are approaching houses and offering the owners a deal to lay pine straw around the yard on a price-per-bale basis. When they are done, they claim it took more bales than usual and try to charge the homeowner hundreds or even thousands more than originally quoted.
Two males were reported for attempting the scheme in Forsyth County around Kelly Mill Road and Chamblee Gap Road on Thursday, August 4 around 4 p.m.
The Sheriff’s Office advises homeowners to avoid unsolicited offers and only hire services from verified landscaping companies.
Last year, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr put out an alert over the scams, which were taking place statewide. He noted that some of the scammers would use intimidation tactics to get the homeowners to pay them the extra money.
“Our office encourages consumers to be on the lookout for these types of door-to-door solicitations…” said Carr. “If it sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam, and if you feel threatened or harassed, please call local law enforcement immediately.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division advised the following to avoid being scammed:
- Ask to see the solicitation permit issued by the City, if applicable
- Ask to see a business card and make sure you get the name of the business and the employee
- Ask for the business’ website and check it out
- Check the Secretary of State’s website to see if the person has a business license
- Check Better Business Bureau’s website (bbb.org) to see if there are any complaints against the business
- Before someone starts the work, ask to get the terms in writing, including the scope of the job, quantity of materials and the final price
- To be safe, say no to door-to-door solicitations and instead contact a reputable company, perhaps one that a friend or neighbor recommends
The division also advises those being harassed by scammers to call 911.
If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at firstname.lastname@example.org.