Mon, 22 Mar 2010 21:48:54 GMT —
KHQA has learned arrests are expected soon in an asphalt scam that happened last week in Marion County.
Last Monday, the Marion County Sheriff's Department investigated workers who showed up unsolicited at a home, saying they had recycled asphalt available.
Unfortunately, the victim fell for it and was duped more than three thousand dollars.
Your Safe Family Station takes this opportunity to remind you that spring is prime season for all types of home improvement scams.
KHQA took a look at the crime scene. Our photos came from the Marion County Sheriff's office. We've blurred any information about the victim. Sgt. Regina Webb tells KHQA this is the worst asphalt job she's ever seen. She says it looks like mud and gravel, and no way could anyone drive on it. Look at how this pen penetrates the driveway. Sgt. Webb is no stranger to asphalt scams, but she usually hears about them from other parts of the country. The scammers live in the Hannibal area, but rarely do their work here at home.
"Anytime you have any need for home improvement, you find the company. You find someone you can rely on, who has good references. Do not allow anyone to come to your home unsolicited and allow them to do any type of home improvements," says Webb.
The criminals usually prey on senior citizens for many reasons. One, they may be used to making a deal with a handshake, but Sgt. Webb says you can't do that anymore. Another reason is the older someone gets, the less likely they're able to handle their own home improvement projects, so they have to rely on someone else. And a lot of time seniors have cash on hand. The problem with this type of scam...it's hard to make an arrest.
"The majority of the time, the victim doesn't complain. They won't come forward. They're embarrassed because they were defrauded. They don't know they can come forward and do something criminal," says Sgt. Webb.
Sgt. Webb says many times if the criminal is prosecuted, the victim can get restitution from the court system. As for being embarrassed that you got scammed, Webb says police really need to know.
"If anyone comes to your door unsolicited, contact us immediately. We may have some information regarding these crews or individuals that are coming to your home that could be helpful to you," says Sgt. Webb.
Sgt. Webb reminds you to be on the lookout for other types of scams this time of year too.
Scams like tree trimming, driveway sealing, roofing, and someone trying to sell you lightning rods could all be lurking around the tri-states.