86°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Don’t let heat seekers take advantage of you

While those in the Midwest, East and North may not believe me — it continues to snow and sleet in many places — summer is quickly approaching. Every season has its frauds; summer is no different.

Here’s just a few of the scams we see peak along with the temperatures:

1. Vacation Rental Scams: Want to escape the heat? Consider a vacation rental — but not before you do your homework. Reports abound of dozens of families showing up at the same lakefront cottage at the same time.

Each has the same “rental agreement” in hand along with instructions for finding the non-existent key to a locked home. Each responded to an ad, usually in Craigslist, and prepaid for their one- to two-week rental.

In most cases, the home was vacant, occasionally it had a “For Sale” sign on it, although once in awhile it was occupied by its lawful owners or renters. Rarely if ever do we hear of a happy ending to this one.

2. Car air-conditioning repair. The most common real reason a car air conditioner stops working is that it’s in need of freon, the cooling agent used in most systems. While the freon loss may possibly be a leak, it’s more often than not just low on pressure or needs changing.

There is BIG money to be made by telling a sweating car owner that s/he needs an $800 repair when the actuality is that less than $100 will fix the problem. And, yup, being blonde and not looking all too brilliant, one foreign-tongued fraud monger tried the scam on me. Bad move.

3. Home air-conditioning repair. Same thing! Protect yourself by dealing with licensed contractors, getting a second opinion (and maybe even a third), and obtaining recommendations from trusted friends in the community. Most legit companies will accept a credit card payment — which adds another layer of protection for you in the case of a scam.

4. Cruise or Condo deals that are just too good to be true. Not to sound like a broken record, but “there ain’t so such thing as a free lunch.” Your $229 luxury unit ISN’T. Your $179 cruise ISN’T. And your FREE (fill in the blank) ISN’T.

5. Pest Control: The dry heat does indeed bring out all forms of six-, 10- or 28-legged creatures. They’re thirsty. Before you sign on the dotted line, know WHO you are dealing with (licensing, community reputation, etc.), what (exactly) you are signing, and what the guarantees are. (unscrupulous traveling bands of thieves are not above a pre-dawn spraying of sugar water on visible outside surfaces.)

In short, don’t just be careful and exercise caution in the summer — do it year round. It’s a sad commentary that half the world is out to screw you and the other half is being straight and honest. It’s sadder still that you must somehow learn to tell the difference.

Drop by the Pahrump Valley Times offices, 2160 E. Calvada Blvd., for a copy of Leslie Kim’s latest book “123 Main Street … the Scamming of America.” Only $19.95 while supplies last.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Thousands watch Nye County GOP virtual debate

The Nye County Republican Central Committee, with the participation of the Pahrump Valley Times, hosted a GOP debate last weekend for the contenders vying for the Republican vote in the 2020 primary election, with nearly three dozen candidates joining in to tackle a variety of topics pertinent to their various offices and thousands of voters watching over two days of discourse and debate.

Striving for success, commission reduces Pahrump Fall Festival vendor fees

The Pahrump Fall Festival is, hands down, the single largest community event in the valley each year but over the past few years, it has been dwindling a bit in terms of participation by vendors offering merchandise and goodies for the thousands of people who turn out on a regular basis. With this in mind, town and county officials have made the decision to revise the vendor booth fee schedule, lowering the prices in an effort to attract more vendors and make the 2020 Fall Festival a resounding success.

Pahrump’s Movies in the Park given the go-ahead

It’s been more than two months since the last community gathering was held in Pahrump and though certain restrictions are still in place regarding the number of people allowed to congregate in public or private settings, the town is now readying for the first large-scale public event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada, its annual Movies in the Park.

Leslie Street paving to commence tomorrow in Pahrump

Pahrump Valley motorists who regularly travel along Leslie Street might want to consider another route this Thursday and Friday, May 28 and 29, as the repaving project for the stretch of Leslie Street between Basin Avenue and Irene Street is set to take place over the next two days.

Virus deadly to Beatty events

Among the victims of COVID-19 are Beatty’s two biggest events of the year—the Fourth of July celebration in the park and Beatty Days in October.

Storm Area 51 cost Nye County $363,000

More than seven months after the Storm Area 51 event that had Nye County in an official state of emergency, the county now has a view of just how much the event cost it, with a reported $363,000 in unbudgeted expenses connected to the phenomenon that grew out of what was originally intended as a social media joke.

DAN SIMMONS: Get back to nature, enjoy the sounds of silence

Even as we see improvement in the current pandemic, but continue the process of quarantine, isolation, hibernation and social distancing, do what you can by continuing to work at home, work with government programs and creditors.

Pahrump’s Golden Years contestants surprise pageant founder

The contestants for the 2020 Ms. Senior Golden Years Pageant recently made a special visit to pageant founder BJ Hetrick-Irwin’s house to bring a smile to her face and let her know that while the pageant may have to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the ladies are ready and willing to forge forth with the annual event just as soon as they are able.