Tuesday, November 10, 2015

CCSO Warns of Driveway Sealing Scam

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is asking residents to avoid possible scamming contractors going door to door, looking to cut a quick deal.

Deputies are asking residents to be wary of potential driveway sealing scams following a recent incident in North Naples.

An 80-year-old woman reported she was robbed by two men who put sealant on her driveway.

The victim told detectives that three men came to her home in Poinciana Village on Oct. 23 and offered to seal her driveway. She agreed and paid them $220. The men sprayed her driveway with sealant and told her they would be back in about a week to check their work.

Two of the men returned Oct. 29 and re-sprayed her driveway. One of the men asked the victim to take him to the backyard and show him the property line. Once in the yard, the man grabbed her left hand and forcibly removed her Rolex watch from her wrist. He then ran to a pickup truck where the other man was waiting in the driver’s seat. The two men then drove off.

Deputies searched for the men but were unable to locate them.

An investigation continues.

One of the men is described as white, in his 20s, around 6 feet tall, and 140 pounds with short shaggy brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing long pants, a short-sleeved shirt with an orange traffic vest over it and boots.

The other man is described as white, in his 20s, around 5 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, sneakers and horn-rimmed eyeglasses.

They were driving a newer model silver four-door Ford F-150 pickup with a Virginia license plate.

Detectives said they believe the suspects are part of a migratory fraud group from the North that travels to Florida and other points South in the winter. 

These criminals target senior citizens by deceiving and distracting the victim. They typically pose as workers or contractors pointing to a problem with a driveway. They generally target short driveways in neighborhoods and communities that aren’t gated. 

CCSO urges residents to use caution when dealing with door-to-door sales of this nature. Reputable contractors rarely, if ever, solicit door-to-door.

Residents who do encounter these solicitors are advised to ask to see a driver’s license or other form of identification.

Homeowners should also ask to see the contractor’s license.  A reputable contractor should have a license to legally offer this service and should be able to provide a copy of the license. This license can be checked online through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation website: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/

Homeowners should call law enforcement police if a solicitor refuses to provide their information.

Deputies also urge residents to keep in mind the following:

Avoid cash only sales or deals. Most reputable contractors will accept checks and or credit cards as a form of payment.

Be wary of unmarked trucks or trucks with out-of-area information such as license plates or  phone numbers.