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7 ON YOUR SIDE: Top 3 spring scams

7 ON YOUR SIDE: Top 3 spring scams (ABC7)

When the weather turns warm, the sun shines brightly, the flowers bloom and the scam artists crawl out of the woodwork

Tanya Edmond and her husband Everret are a couple of empty nesters looking for the best way to keep their nest secure.

Then came a knock at the door with a man on the other side offering a deal.

“With a wonderful deal for us,” Tanya Edmond says. "Free installation cameras, intercom ... more things than we had."

It all sounded good, but there was one option the salesman offered that closed the deal for Edmond. They said they would do the work to cancel the Edmond's contract with their old company, but that never happened and they are now stuck paying two different companies for one security system.

“If you want to cancel your current contract do it on your own," said Kelsey Owen of the Better Business Bureau told 7 ON YOUR SIDE.

Owen says the security system switch is one of the BBB's top three spring scams.

"They are getting your personal information,” said Owen. “They are charging your credit cards and people are having a hard time clearing those charges.”

The number two scam on the BBB list: storm chasers or woodchucks.

“They are coming to your door unannounced,” reports Ashley Savage of the Arlington County Police Department. "Saying we've been doing work for your neighbors and we have some extra materials let us also fix what you need done.”

Police departments across the region stay busy this time of year trying to track down these scammers.

Arlington police working with other departments in the area were able to arrest John Patrick Walsh and Mark Sisk. They were charged with scamming an elderly couple who lives an Arlington neighborhood.

The couple paid the men $60,000 before they realized little to no work had been done on their house.

Walsh and Sisk were convicted and are now serving time in jail.

The third spring scam to look out for is people going door-to-door selling fake magazine subscriptions. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it's too good to be true

Here are some tips to protect yourself from spring scammers:

  1. Never to agree to do business or sign up for a magazine subscription with someone who comes to your door unannounced without first checking out their company thoroughly.
  2. Never pay with cash.
  3. Report them to the police and then the BBB.

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