HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico Police is warning residents to be on the lookout for scammers posing as home contractors looking to do work on your home.  

In a recently released statement, Henrico Police is asking residents across the county to turn down these individuals or groups who are offering home improvement and repair work in exchange for cash. 

“This is an opportunity for people to collect money and then not do the work” Lieutenant Matt Pecka said.  

Here’s how the scam works: con artists will target a home that’s in need of repair or improvement, and then approach the homeowner and offer to work on whatever the homeowner wants or needs done. After the homeowners agree to perform the labor, the “contractors” then demand half the money for the job and service upfront. After they’ve received payment, they either don’t complete, or, in some cases, never start the work, according to Henrico police.   

Pecka says that these scammers also may pressure potential targets and tell them that work needs to be done immediately. But slowing down and taking time to think can keep you from becoming a victim.

“It’s important for our residents not to feel pressured that it’s a one-time opportunity,” Pecka said. “Make sure you take time to vet the individuals that are coming and seeking to perform services on your behalf at your home. That way you can do your homework.”  

There are other ways to avoid falling prey to the scam, including doing a bit of homework.

“There’s additional steps that our community members can take by looking up and using DPOR, which is an official website where all contractors are licensed,” Pecka said. “It’s important for people to be educated know where to look and how to vet such contractors in our community.”  

Pecka says while scamming isn’t anything new, what does change is the type of scams people tend to see. Anyone can become a target and ultimately fall victim to these ever-changing scams.

“This is county wide,” Pecka said. “We want everyone to be on alert and be aware and report suspicious activity.”  

Residents who believe that they or someone they know may have fallen victim to this latest scam are asked to contact Henrico police.