The Greene County Sheriff’s Department has issued an alert to area residents to be aware of the potential of becoming a victim of home improvement fraud.
Det. Sgt. Jim O’Malley sounded the alarm following the GCSD’s investigation into an inflated payment made by an elderly Greene County resident for sub-standard work on her driveway.
Det. O’Malley said the incident recently occurred in Switz City where a female homeowner was approached by a company called International Seal Coating and Paving.
Individuals from this company gave the woman a verbal quote of $600 to $1,500 to seal the driveway. But when the work was completed, they charged the homeowner $5,000. She paid them the $5,000.
O’Malley said when the woman’s family members discovered the fraud, they reported it to law enforcement.
“The work on the driveway was sub-standard and very poor,” said O’Malley. “Out-of-state driveway re-surfacing and blacktop vendors will approach homeowners and solicit work coating their driveways. Most quotes for the work are verbal. When the work is complete, the total amount of money due is substantially larger than the original quote.”
Det. O’Malley advises homeowners to always ask for credentials from the company – for example, a business card, pamphlet, flyers, etc.
He also said to obtain a written quote and guarantee.
And finally, he advises homeowners to research the business prior to doing business with them.