DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. - The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be on high alert regarding a recent paving scam that has been prevalent.
Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson issued an alert oOn Friday to residents about a “paving / outdoor work scam” that involves perpetrators showing up unannounced outside of residents' home, offering to do work on and near the property at a heavily discounted rate.
According to police, the perpetrators will ask for a deposit, and once that deposit is paid - usually in cash - they will do some work at the scene before leaving, never to be seen again. The scam typically targets elderly residents.
Anderson said that his office doesn’t currently have any criminal investigations into this type of activity, but reported that in years past it started in the late winter and early spring when DPW crews typically begin infrastructure improvements.
With that timetable approaching, the Sheriff’s Office issued several pieces of common sense advice to help homeowners avoid being scammed.
- Be wary of people you don’t know showing up at your house to do unannounced work.
- Ask for identification to know who exactly you’re dealing with.
- Get a written estimate and a written contract.
- Be wary of handwritten contacts on paper with no letterhead or business name.
- Don’t give cash as a deposit or down payment.
- Don’t let anyone that you don’t know inside your house.
Anyone that believes they may have been victimized by this type of activity can contact Det. Girardi in the Sheriff’s Office at (845) 486-3800 or the tip line at (845) 605-CLUE.
“The Sheriff’s Office would like to warn the residents of Dutchess County and surrounding areas to be on the lookout for this type of activity, and to be wary of people showing up unannounced to do work,” the alert says. “The Sheriff’s Office also urges people to watch out for suspicious persons or vehicles, and to report them immediately. As with any other investigation, the sooner the police are contacted the better.
“If you have any doubt about the people at your house to do work, or the legitimacy of the business, please contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately.”