Chesterton Tribune


CPD: Eldery woman looks to have been scammed

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A Chesterton resident appears to have been the victim of a home-improvement scam, Chesterton Police said.

According to police, last week a 70-year-old resident reported that, on Dec. 9, a man approached her while she was outside and told her that he was going to be re-surfacing a nearby church’s parking lot but had overestimated the amount of material needed. The man then said that he would use the extra material on her driveway for a “reasonable rate”—$1,000—in what he pitched as a “win-win scenario for both parties.”

The woman agreed, left the house to run errands, and on returning “was taken aback by the appearance of her driveway,” police said. “It had been covered by what appeared to be a layer of fine gravel mixed with cinders, possibly mixed with some temporary binder.”

The woman was also taken aback when the man came to collect. “Due to the ‘difficult nature’ of the work,” the price had gone up to $2,000, the woman advised.

The woman told the man she could only afford to pay $1,000 now but would give him a second check post-dated to Jan. 3. The man agreed and a few days later the woman found that the check had been cashed.

The woman did ask the man, before he left with her money, why the driveway had not been sealed. “The man told her that it would be best if the surface was exposed throughout the winter to allow it to ‘settle and breathe,’” and promised to return in the spring to seal-coat it.

When the woman’s grandson heard about the transaction, he told her that she’d been scammed, to cancel the second check, and to close that checking account because now the man had her routing and account numbers.

“It certainly does not appear as though $2,000 worth of quality work was performed,” police said.


Posted 12/18/2012