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Archive for Monday, November 14, 2011

Douglas County district attorney warns about scam involving home, driveway repairs

November 14, 2011

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District Attorney Charles Branson on Monday warned Douglas County residents to be aware of a possible driveway and home repair scam after a resident recently lost $1,500.

Branson said a group of men are associated with a white one-ton General Motors pickup truck with an extended cab and Illinois license plates. The truck is estimated to be a 2000 model or newer.

“The men have already scammed one Douglas County resident out of $1,500 for a driveway repair scam,” Branson said. “If these individuals show up at your home, do not hesitate to immediately contact law enforcement or call 911.”

Any potential victims can also call the district attorney’s consumer protection unit at 841-0211.

Comments

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

If this turns out to be who I think it is the only traveling done is between Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas City.

Keith 3 years, 1 month ago

I meant the folks commonly referred to as the Irish Gypsies. They show up around here occasionally, pretend to put up lightning rods, do roofing or seal your driveway and instead make off with as much of your money as they can. Another of their scams is selling machine tools of shoddy construction.

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

I figured that was more of what you were referring to. I just used the opportunity to poke a stick at D B Equipment for Hire since that is his typical method of scamming people.

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like the X-Lawrence resident D B Equipment for Hire is at it again. He has a large white extended cab. Although I don't know how many states he has had it licensed in. He has been known to motor around with no license plate on some of his equipment. I still don't get why the city doesn't cancel his contractor license.

50YearResident 3 years, 1 month ago

what is the description of this guy and approximate age? a guy about 35 to 45 stopped at my house about 3 weeks ago. About 225 lbs, caucasion.

xdcr 3 years, 1 month ago

The person you describe sounds like "Mike and Martin's asphalt paving out of Independence, MO. They paved my driveway, did an awesome job and no money up front. The contact person drives a white minivan. Top rate equipment.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Many contractors require at least a small down payment up front - it's pretty standard.

We just found a great handyman after years of searching, and bad experiences - he asked for 1/2 his materials cost up front, and the rest after he was done with the work.

He was great - did a great job, on time and under the cap established at the beginning.

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

Probably the standard contractor jive. They estimate the cost. Then ask for half up front with the remainder paid when the job is finished. They take the half payment and never return to start the work.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

The driveway repair scam is so old I can hardly believe anyone falls for it anymore.

They say a fool is born every minute, and a fool and his money are soon parted. And, they are right.

Concerning the home repairs, I'm not so sure. It is easy to get scammed that way. I know a very well educated and wise person who wishes he had just left things the way they were before the contractors ever got started. At the present moment, the third one he has contracted to do the work so far is working on completing the project. There is no telling when the job will be completely done, I think it's been in process about three years now. But, I could be wrong, it might have been even longer than that.

You must get references, if the contractor cannot provide any, forget it.

And if he does provide them, call at least three of his satisfied customers. After you have talked to the people at the phone numbers he has provided you with, check the phone book to see if those people actually live at the address he claimed he did the work at. It's easy to give people your friend's numbers and of course they will claim his work is excellent, and the man can be trusted, for sure.

The more glowingly they talk about him and his work, the more suspicious you must be.

And, go and actually look at his well done work at the bare minimum of one of his three satisfied customers.

Then, call the Better Business Bureau, Lawrence, Kansas at (785) 766-2009, to see if there has been any complaints lodged against him, his company, or his work.

After that tell him you'll think about it, please come back next week.

If you follow those very simple instructions, I doubt very much you will get scammed.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

I have "inside info" on the driveway scammers because someone I know used to chat with them in a chat room. They were working in Chicago at that time, years ago. In that chat room, there was a whole lot of bragging about how much money they made with the driveway scam only one day. 1,000 bucks a day is common. If you work really hard all day, you can make $2,000 easy.

Here's a really good one, maybe I shouldn't let it out because it works so very well.

I was once at a restaurant, and a man came and put a pen on my table, along with a Xeroxed piece of paper. Just part of a page, though. The Xeroxed piece of paper explained what he was doing. He was deaf, and because of that he couldn't get a job. So, he was selling pens for one dollar. He walked all around the restaurant, putting pens and pieces of paper on everyone's table.

People were pulling out their wallets right and left, and he just walked around the restaurant again, picking up one dollar bills and the pieces of paper, so he could use them at the next restaurant. It looked like everyone needed a pen that day.

When he approached me, I used sign language and said this:

Do you know sign language?

He looked shocked, never came near me, and headed out quick with a whole lot of one dollar bills and pieces of paper. For sure, he knew I had just signed something to him, and he had no clue what I had just said.

A deaf person that doesn't know any sign language? Yeah, right.

A box of 100 pens costs how much, about $5? Xerox copies are $0.25, and you cut each into four pieces. And, there are a lot of restaurants along the highways, especially if you're on a long road trip.

P.S. I got a free pen out of the deal. But, the ink in it was green. (Not a joke!)

Bob Forer 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree with you on everything except the number for the BBB. They have not been in town for several years. The number now belongs to a friend of mine, who gets several calls a week from folks looking for the BBB. He is a good sport about it, and would change the number if it wasn't such a hassle for his friends and family who already have it. And he sometimes enjoys a pleasant conversation with the folks who are looking for the BBB.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh boy! I got that number right off the web! From this page:

http://www.yellowpages.com/lawrence-ks/better-business-bureau#

That number is listed in the Yellow Pages for the 'Better Business Bureau' in Lawrence, Kansas, and it's right at the top of the page!

He can get that website changed if he wants, I'm sure.

Bob Forer 3 years, 1 month ago

NOt your fault. That's where everyone gets it. His phone provider offered to change his number, but he likes it, because he obtained in it 2009, which are the last four numbers of the number. And he doesn't mind the occasional call, as he is currently taking care of an elderly parent. Problem with having it removed from that site is that there are dozens of phone lookup sites, and they all seem to have the same information.

Its really his problem, as he can always change his number.

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