Door to door scammers target elderly home owners with fertilizer scam.

Who Is It Targeting: Elderly Home Owners in the Lodi and Stockton Areas (Northern California)

What Is It:  Thieves posing as gardeners are targeting elderly home owners in the Lodi and Stockton areas.  They go door to door promising greener lawns through aeration and fertilization for around $80.  Once the home owner agrees they end up just dumping large amounts of soil on the property and asking for exponentially more than the original price.  If the senior refuses to pay they bully the home owner and refuse to leave.  The request goes up to as high as a few thousand dollars.  Once the resident pays, the scammer takes off, leaving a lot of muck on the lawn and a hole in the home owners bank account.

What Are They After: Cash, Checks.

How Can You Avoid It:  Always be cautious when approached by door to door solicitations for service.  Before you agree, find out who they supposedly work for, then go inside and contact that company yourself.  If the company doesn’t exist or they don’t represent that they have door to door solicitors in the area, don’t accept their request for business.  Any payment for services should always be made after satisfactory service of the contract has been rendered.

Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.