The Dane County Sheriff’s Office wants to caution citizens after a recent fraud complaint in the town of Blooming Grove. On June 14th, 2013, a female homeowner was approached at her residence by a male who identified himself as Joshua McDonald, and was accompanied by two associates in an unknown white pick-up truck.
The subject came to the front door of the residence and claimed to be there to with “leftover asphalt” from a construction job. He informed the female homeowner that he would seal her entire driveway with asphalt for only $350.00.
After completing the work, he proceeded to advise the homeowner that she now owed him $1700.00. At no time during this process did the man talk to the homeowner about the price difference, nor was any written estimate or contract provided or completed prior to the work being performed. After some discussion, the homeowner paid the man $1400.00.
These types of scams are commonly reported to law enforcement in the spring, summer, and fall. Often referred to as Gypsy or Traveler Scams, because the perpetrators are generally not from the area.
They travel through preying on unsuspecting homeowners, often times the elderly, then leave the area before they are detected by law enforcement. The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind property owners to be cautious whenever approached by a contractor who arrives on your doorstep unsolicited. Similar scams are offers to perform asphalt construction or painting projects with leftover materials from another job.
These scammers typically promise the homeowner a good deal, then after the work has been completed, they charge an inflated price. The victims often report feeling intimidated and/or obligated to pay the bill. Because these are not reputable local contractors, there is no way to locate them for a refund or because of unsatisfactory work.
If you experience one of these contacts, please call law enforcement immediately and report the incident. Citizens are also encouraged to talk to their elderly neighbors or family members to ensure that they are not taken advantage of by these fraudulent offers.