The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is warning area homeowners to be on the the lookout for a paving/outdoor work scam that has been prevalent in the towns of Wappinger, Fishkill, and East Fishkill over the past few weeks.

Police said an investigation has shown that the perpetrators of this scam will show up and advertise that they can do paving and other outdoor work for a 20 percent discount. They will then ask for a deposit and once the deposit is paid, usually in cash, they will do some of the work but then leave and not return to finish the job.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating a total of 10 cases of this scam, with monetary losses ranging from a few hundred dollars up to $20,000.

Captain John Watterson of the Sheriff’s Office said residents of Dutchess County and surrounding areas should be wary of people showing up unannounced to do work. Witnesses have described the suspects as two to three white males, at least one of whom has a heavy Irish accent.They are driving a white 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup with gold plate license number 65592MD. The truck may also have a sign on it which references a 20 percent discount for outdoor work.

Watterson said that if anyone sees the suspects or their truck, or thinks that they may have been a victim of this scam, they should call the Sheriff’s Office at 845-486-3800, or via the tipline at 845-605-CLUE or email (attention Detective Gerardi). All tips will be kept confidential.

The Sheriff’s Office also offers the following advice for avoiding these types of scams:

* 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 contracts on paper with no letterhead or business name.

* Don’t give cash as a deposit/down payment.

* Don’t let anyone that you don’t know inside your house.

Watterson said that more information may be released as it becomes available.


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