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Press Release- Sheriff’s Office Warns Residents of Sealcoating and Home Improvement Scams

7/2/2019 12:00:00 AM

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office warns residents to be cautious and diligent when contracting for home improvements.  During warmer months, groups of con-artists often referred to as traveling criminals, make their way to McHenry County.  These groups target senior citizens, but will approach other homeowners, to offer services that end up being subpar and require the homeowner to spend hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars to repair.   

 An Example of One Scam:

 A homeowner will receive a knock at their door and the sales person for a driveway sealcoating company will offer a "Great Deal" to sealcoat the driveway with left over driveway sealer from a previous job. They will quote the homeowner a rate significantly lower than the going rate for a professional sealcoating company. 

 The sales person will use high-pressure and fear of loss tactics to scam victims into agreeing to their deal. Once they have their cash in hand their team of seal coaters will come in and use substandard materials, which normally wash off after the first rain, to coat the driveway.  After they are done they will re-approach the homeowner and request more money due to the fact they had to purchase "more materials". 

 How to Protect Yourself:

 

  • Professional contractors will have clearly marked business decals and markings on their vehicles, and will provide you with a detailed written estimate and proof of insurance.
  • We encourage you to ask for three references and follow-up by contacting them. 
  • Check with your local chamber of commerce and the Better Business Bureau for reviews on the company and the owner to see if there are any negative reviews.
  • Ask your trusted friends and family for referral suggestions. 
  • Wait at least three days before committing to a company. 

 

Remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is a scam.  You can contact your local police department if you have concerns. Residents that reside in the McHenry County Sheriff's Office jurisdiction can call 815-338-3144.

 

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