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Local

Sheriff’s office warning of scams on homeowners

SYCAMORE – The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about an attempted home repair scam that occurred Sept. 5 and was reported to the sheriff’s office.

An individual approached the victim at his residence in rural Sycamore and offered to sealcoat the driveway at a bargain rate, according to the news release.

“The victim was pressured into agreeing to a sealcoating of his driveway,” the release read. “He agreed verbally, but upon completion the individuals presented him with a bill for $6,000 for a job that should have been $300 to $500.”

The sheriff’s office said it is concerned the incident might resemble the beginning of an influx of roaming scammers that circulate through the Midwest at certain times of the year, performing scams that target people as they work in their yard or appear alone.

“In other situations, the blacktopping scam may be used as a distraction in order to commit a burglary inside the residence or outbuilding,” according to the news release. “There was an incident like this reported ... as well, however nothing was taken in this particular case.”

The sheriff’s office urges residents to not give in to pressure in these situations and to call local law enforcement if approached. Investigations into these incidents are continuing.

The truck from the sealcoating incident was a white pickup truck with a black square sealcoat tank in the back, occupied by three men, according to the release.

The sheriff’s office said to beware of short time frames for decision-making, high-pressure sales tactics or intimidation, no chance to check local references, and reluctance to quote prices. Always check with local vendors for competitive pricing.

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