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Police Warn of ‘Woodchuck’ Scam

A Falls Church resident was scammed out of thousands of dollars in what police are calling a “woodchuck” scam, it was reported this week. City of Falls Church Police are warning residents of the predatory actions which typically target senior citizens who live alone. Police say the scam artists will claim to be contractors and approach the homeowner about tree and house projects. After gaining the victim’s trust, the scammers will come up with a variety of fake repairs that need to be done, such as roof repair, tree removal and landscaping, and then charge the victim thousands of dollars. “A little bit of education and a healthy dose of skepticism can help a lot when hiring contractors for tree or home services,” said City of F.C .Police Chief Mary Gavin in a press release. “We see scammers making the rounds after big storms and high winds, but it can happen any time of year.” Warning signs for potential scam contractors include: Soliciting door-to-door, contractors who just so happen to have materials left over from a previous job, They pressure you to make an immediate decision, they ask for up-front payment for the entire job, only accepts cash and asks you to obtain the required building permits.