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Press Release- Sheriffs Office Warns Residents of Sealcoating and Home Improvement Scam

7/1/2020 12:00:00 AM

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office warns residents to be cautious and be 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.    

One Example Reported to the Sheriff's Office:

A homeowner in unincorporated Cary received a knock on the door and the "sales man" offered her a new "Flex Seal" coating for her driveway.  He offered her a "bargain deal", but did not quote a specific price.  Upon completion of the job the man demanded $6,000.  The elderly homeowner initially wrote a check, but cancelled it upon realizing she was being scammed.  The suspects in this case were described as under 50 years of age, male, and possibly of Hispanic descent.  They were driving a blue pickup truck and a white truck with the "Flex Seal" in the back.  Neither trucks had any identifiable markings on them.  

Here are Some Tips 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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