25 June 2020

Major Michael J. Drake
Troop K Commander

Washington, New York - With warmer weather here, the New York State Police would like to warn the public about the start of driveway scams.  Troopers have had reports this week in Dutchess County of contractors or individuals promising driveway paving and/or sealing work.  Typically, this scam involves collecting money and never performing the work, or workers showing up unexpectedly and starting work on a driveway without the consent of the homeowner, and then demanding payment.  One specific tactic involves the individuals showing up at the homeowner’s door with “excess” asphalt from another job.  The individuals will attempt to collect payment upfront, and never return or perform substandard/incomplete work before leaving.

In the Verbank area of the town of Washington Troopers made contact with several individuals last week who are known to have engaged in fraudulent activity including driveway scams in the past.  Enforcement was limited to several infractions of the vehicle and traffic law, no violations regarding fraud were detected at this time.  This message is intended as a warning to residents to be cognizant of potential dangers in our community.

Authorities warn that these scams specifically target the elderly in many cases, relying on confusion of whether the job was ordered or not. Typical of these scams are unsavory contractors who go door-to-door using shady tactics to charge exorbitant prices for substandard or small jobs. The individuals usually have had several prior police interactions for these sorts of scams.  Generally, these individuals have out of state phone numbers and addresses.  Both of which could be invalid.

The public should verify references, and not pay any money before they are sure they are dealing with a reputable contractor.  Reputable contractors rarely, if ever, sell their product door to door.  Additionally, professional asphalt contractors will know with great accuracy how much paving material is needed to complete a project.

When seeking a contractor for paving or sealing work, Troopers recommend:

·         Get written estimates and references when possible.

·         Do not pay cash, obtain a signed contract.

·         Talk to neighbors and relatives who’ve had similar work done.

·         Use local contractors whenever possible and always ask for identification.

·         Check out potential contractors on the Better Business Bureau website before agreeing to work.

Anyone who feels they may have been victimized recently, or believes there may be suspicious individuals in their neighborhood, please call Troop K Headquarters at (845) 677-7300.


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