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Muhlenberg Co. Sheriff warns of scammers as people are making renovations and repairs to homes

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 9:09 PM CDT
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MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) - On Thursday, a Logan County man who is accused scamming people out of thousands of dollars was arrested out of state. Officials with the Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Office said Michael McKiernan has been offering sales and installation of heating and air conditioning equipment without delivering or installing any of the materials.

As people are making repairs and renovations to their homes during this time, Muhlenberg County Sheriff Will Ward is warning the public to watch out for these scams.

“It’s a good idea not to pay large amounts for it (a product or service) until you’ve received material or work that has been done on your residence,” Sheriff Ward said. “In these particular cases, no items were ever delivered. They were paid for with a delivery date, and they never received the materials and then businesses were not able to be contacted for that.”

The sheriff said his office has received several complaints of construction workers asking for down payments after giving an estimate, and so far there are two cases of people losing money to this. There is a criminal investigation ongoing for these instances.

Sheriff Ward offered several tips to ensure you are not being scammed when repairing or renovating your home:

  • Always ask for references, and actually call them. “Call them and if people say they respect the business and they’ve done work for them. You can usually prevent some of this from happening right at the beginning,” the sheriff said.
  • Get more than one estimate and compare prices to make sure you are not being overcharged by a person or company. “If somebody is off several thousand its’s usually a good clue that something is not correct.”
  • Make sure work is completed before making any payments.
  • A legitimate business will not ask for payment on prepaid cards like green dot money or apple cards.
  • Get as much information as possible business cards, names, phone numbers, and addresses.

It is also important to never give your Social Security Number or other personal information online or by phone. The Sheriff’s Office said a recent scam has been circulating where a person is contacted by someone saying their social security number has been hacked, and the caller will usually ask you to verify your social security number, which again you should never do.

If you suspect that someone is a scammer, you should collect as much information as you can about the person or business and identify them to law enforcement.

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