Hey Greenwich! Did You Know ... Cops Warning of Chimney Scam?

Greenwich Police: Elderly are being targeted by contractor crews whose work does not meet building codes.

Today is Tuesday, June 12, 2012, and it's National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.

Today's birthdays:

  • Reality TV series 'Kendra' star Kendra Leigh Wilkinson is 27.
  • Brazilian Model and Victoria's Secret Angel Adriana Lima is 31.
  • Sportscaster Marv Albert is 71.
  • Pianist/composer Chick Corea is 71.
  • "Gomer Pyle" star Jim Nabors is 82.
  • Singer Vic Damone is 84.
  • 41st U.S. president, father of George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush is 88.

This day in history:

In 1963, African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot to death in the driveway outside his home in Jackson, MI, by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith.

In 1987, in one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down" the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.

In 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, football player O.J. Simpson's ex-wife, and her friend Ron Goldman are stabbed to death outside Nicole's home in Brentwood, CA, in what became one of the most highly publicized trials of the century.


Things you should know:

Pemberwick Glenville Association will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, June 14, in the Glenville Firehouse Meeting Room.

There will be a meet-and-greet reception with RTM delegates, town officials, state representatives, and political leaders, at 6 p.m.

Eligible voters must sign in to pick up a voting ballot by 6:30 p.m., when the election of the group's board of directors will be held. There also will be a discussion of issues, improvements and activities planned for 2012-13.

The meeting is open to all residents, property and business owners.

Police warn of chimney cleaning, repair scams targeting elderly

Greenwich Police say chimney cleaning and repair crews are preying on the town's elderly with hard-sell pitches that residents need immediate repairs to their chimneys.

The crews are cold-calling residents, usually with door-to-door pitches "for a special discounted rate." The scammer tells the victim their chimney is in disrepair and in need of immediate work to make it safe.

"They will say 'oh my God, you have carbon monixide leaking from the chimney, it's a fire hazard. We'll fix it right now,' " said Greenwich Det. John King. "We want people to know they should get at least two more estimates for the work and that they have a 3-day window by law to change your mind to do the work," King explained.

King said a Cogenwaugh Road resident nearly became a victim of the scam. But when she became suspicious "she stopped payment with her credit card company. And the (chimney cleaning) company never came back to her."

King said that crews "are doing work that might up to federal codes but not up to state and Greenwich codes which are different, and they're overcharging for the work."

Greenwich police also said that crews sometimes show residents chimney liners that are to be installed as a means to convince them that "the liners are badly needed. Often people are charged for these expensive liners which are never installed."

Police have offered these guidelines for consumers:

  • When a solicitor calls to offer home improvement work; ask for their Connecticut Home Improvement Registration number, ask where they are located and their phone number, ask for references and verify when they were last, or even at your house.
  • Before any contractor works on your home, verify that they have a Connecticut Home Improvement Salesman's Registration at the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Website @ www.ct.gov/dcp , or by calling 1-800-842-2649.
  •  Always get three separate WRITTEN estimates. CT Law requires that on any written contract or proposal it must include what is known as a 3-day notice of cancellation.  This notice prohibits the work from being conducted and allows the consumer three days in which to cancel the work and obtain a full refund.
  • Never pay cash.
  • If the contractor is makes any excuse as to why some part of their operation cannot be verified or seems like sketchy character, we suggest you stay away and contact the police.

For more informations or questions about home improvement scams, contact Det. Jeff Stempien at (203) 622- 8023.


Meetings today at Greenwich Town Hall:

12:00 PM  Affirmative Action Adv. Committee  05:30 PM  Greenwich Shellfish Commission  06:30 PM  BET Budget Committee  07:00 PM  Planning & Zoning Commission


Greenwich Community Television

If you prefer the clicker instead of being there or want to catch up on a Greenwich meeting you missed, there's Greenwich Community Television (GCTV) on either Fios Channel 24 or Cablevision's Channel 79.

1:20 pm Board of Selectmen Meeting, June 7, 2012 2:30 pm Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting, May 31, 2012 5:50 pm Board of Selectmen Meeting, June 7, 2012 7:00 pm Planning & Zoning Commission LIVE Coverage


And if you prefer the movies:

Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas at Greenwich Plaza
Showtimes for Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Moonrise Kingdom (PG-13)
Bruce Willis, Edward Norton
93 minutes
Trailer 4:45, 7:15
Hysteria (R)
Rupert Everett, Hugh Dancy
95 minutes
Trailer 4:30, 7:30
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13)
Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith
118 minutes
Trailer 4:15, 7:00


Sources: history.com; famousbirthdays.com

Leslie Yager June 12, 2012 at 10:44 AM
My chimney sweep James Ball says 'Did your sweep find you? or did you find him?' It should always be the latter. Check BBB or Angie's list.
James Ball June 12, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Thank you Leslie, I have been a local, licensed, Certified Chimney Sweep serving Fairfield county for over 25 years and for years these "Scammer Sweeps" have operated in our area (giving us all a bad name), and in most cases they Cold Call you with a "Great price" to clean then it begins once they get into your home, you should never deal with a Sweep that Cold Calls you, always hire a Certified Sweep through the Chimney Safety Institute of America www.csia.org there you can look up by Zip code for all the Certified sweeps in your area, also check with your heating company, Angie's List (if you are a member), BBB, CT Consumer protection (They must be licensed to work in the sate and check that license) family and friends. All Reputable Licensed, Certified sweeps with have you sign a contract with a "3 day right to cancel". If you do not see one of these, feel like you are being scared or pushed into doing any work, call your local PD and report these Scammer Sweeps. Most times these Scammer Sweeps make a Chimney much worse (or deadly) take your money and run www.Jamesballchimney.com "We Kick ASh"
James Ball June 12, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Here is a Blog I did for the Stamford Patch a week or two back on Chimney Scammers http://stamford.patch.com/blog_posts/avoid-the-chimney-sweep-scam please take a look
NCPHIF June 13, 2012 at 03:14 PM
As a nonprofit, it is our mission to educate homeowners on how to avoid becoming victims of contractor scams. Before you begin a home repair or home improvement project, please visit preventcontractorfraud.org for FREE and valuable information on how to deal with contractors. Don't become a victim!!
James Ball June 13, 2012 at 05:27 PM
NCPHIF, I just called your origination to partner with them in this area if some one has been preyed on by these "Scammer Sweeps" and directed your organization to CSIA.Org (Chimney Safety Institute of America) and NCSG.ORG (the National Chimney Sweep Guild) for further info and help with this type of problem. Jamesballchimney.com "We Kick Ash"


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