NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Habitat for Humanity wants to warn homeowners about a scam: bad actors potentially posing as Habitat employees and accessing homes. It may be difficult to spot a real Habitat for Humanity employee when they aren’t building a home, so don’t be fooled.
Scammers are currently hitting homes in the New Orleans area.
“They could try to get personal information or they may be casing the property to gain entry,” said Marguerite Oestreicher, executive director of Habitat for Humanity in the New Orleans area. Oestreicher said the organization received a report of a man’s mother getting a home visitor claiming he was there for home repairs.
“These people are showing up — they made fake logo shirts, fake paperwork. So people think it is Habitat but it is not Habitat,” said the executive director.
Just to be clear: Habitat for Humanity never goes door to door. If they show up at your house, it’s because you already have an appointment made with one of their staff members.
“So we do have some people we are helping that do go out to the neighborhood. Our staff have business cards, IDs, they drive vehicles with logos, and they wear shirts or polos with logs,” Oestreicher said. “Be cautious. Double check. Call our office and we can verify.”
This is all an important reminder that Habitat is here to help humanity — not scam.
“It is better to be safe, particularly for our older people who may be living alone. They are very much at risk,” she said.
The man in yesterday’s case was said to be driving a dark blue GMC SUV, not a marked car.
Spokespeople say this scam seems to be happening every few years.