Citizens are advised that a man identifying himself as a city employee was circulating in residential areas and informed a homeowner that the city needed to prune one of their trees and that he needed to charge the resident for the work. The man didn’t appear to have a business card, phone number or identification. The home owner stopped and asked one of the City Forestry crews nearby about the city charging to prune boulevard trees. City staff informed the homeowner that the City doesn’t charge for pruning boulevard trees.
Bismarck City Commissioner Parrell Grossman is warning Bismarck residents about this scam and reminds citizens that the city routinely prunes or removes boulevard trees at no cost to the property owner. All tree services doing work in the City of Bismarck must be licensed with the City Forestry Division as stated in City Ordinance. Home owners can find a list of licensed commercial tree services on the City web site at: http://www.bismarck.org/index.aspx?nid=238.
Grossman, who also serves as the Director of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, cautions consumers about doing business with unlicensed transient merchants. “Door-to-door merchants that conduct pruning or other repair services must have a transient merchant’s licensed issued by the Attorney General and consumers should never hire anyone that doesn’t display this license,” Grossman said. Grossman noted that citizens with questions about door-to-door sales should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-472-2600