High Temps Require Seniors to Take Care, but in Ways That Go Beyond Shorts, Shade, and Cool Drinks

Hot weather air conditioner scam artists
Image via stephene2 at Creative Commons.

The Bucks County Agency on Aging warns that summer is not only the season for fresh produce, outdoor fun, and vacations. It’s also the time when scammers prey on senior citizens. Peter Blanchard detailed their seasonal fraudulent activities for the Newtown Patch. 

Record-breaking temperatures have Bucks County air conditioners humming. 

But they are also bringing out the scammers. 

Summer is prime time for hucksters who shill fraudulent air conditioner repairs to desperate homeowners — especially the elderly — eager to turn the cool back on. 

The members of the Bucks County Crimes Against Older Adults Task Force encourages consumers to search for a reputable service company. It offers the following suggestions when vetting air conditioning repair servicers: 

  • Do some investigative work before calling in a professional. Check the following: 
    • The breaker box for a tripped breaker 
    • The thermostat for proper operation 
    • Your filters. If they’re clogged with dirt, replace them 
  • If you believe work is required: 
    • See if your unit is still under factory warranty. Do not pay for separate services that may still be covered by your initial installer 
  • When dealing with a contractor: 
    • Ask up front about diagnostic and service fees 
    • Ask to see the contractor license. Verify it with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, either online or by phone (717.772.2425) 
    • Research contractors with the Bucks County Consumer Protection Department (215.348.6060) 
    • Check online reviews 
    • Obtain multiple bids for work 
    • Get estimates in writing 
    • Don’t fall for high-pressure sales techniques 

More advice on the finances around navigating air conditioning season is at the Newtown Patch

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