Summertime warning to consumers: ‘Don’t Get Burned’

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is offering New Yorkers a consumers’ guide to avoid summertime ripoffs, it is called “Don’t Get Burned”.

The warmer months are the time of year for vacations, summer travel, and those home improvement projects you had to put on hold for the winter, prompting the Attorney General to remind residents to keep your guard up, to avoid some common summertime ripoffs.

“The most common scams to look out for this summer include home improvement schemes, such as weatherproofing and drive-bys, where scammers typically demand a payment up front before completing the job,” said Schneiderman.

A contractor we will call “Tim” contacted Call 4 Action about a local contractor he said is operating on a cash-only basis with some of his customers.

“So there is no receipt, no warranty, no contract,” said Tim, who preferred that we avoid using his real name. “If you want a driveway done right, you get a couple of estimates, you get a contract, and you get a warranty with it. That is how it is done.”

Tim said he has been getting consumer complaints about that contractor, whose trucks have out-of-state license plates. But the contractor in question told News 4 his business is completely above board.

Schneiderman said summer is also the time of year for vacation and summer travel ripoffs that can take all the fun out of your summer, “Common vacation scams include vacation rentals, timeshares, vacation certificates, and clubs that often trap people into long-term financial commitments they can’t afford.”

The Attorney General also reminds New Yorkers to use verified payment sources such as PayPal or a major credit card, and try to avoid wire transfers such as Western Union or Money Gram. You can find the Attorney General’s complete guide to avoid summer scams, by clicking on the “Don’t Get Burned” link. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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