DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION, DANBURY POLICE DEPARTMENT
ISSUE WARNING ABOUT TRAVELING PAVERS
Friday, April, 8th 2016 - Door-to-door scammers are already out in many communities, taking advantage of homeowners who are looking to undertake home improvement projects as the weather warms.
In May of 2015, the Danbury Police Department received a fraud complaint from a homeowner that told the police he came home and found workers in the process of cleaning the driveway. The workers told him that his wife hired them to seal and resurface the driveway. The complainant paid $2,750 to the workers and later learned that his wife did not agree to the work and never signed a contract with the pavers. Upon inspection, it was determined that the driveway was not repaired or resealed; instead a very small amount of a substandard sealant was applied.
Danbury Police Detectives contacted the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Through a joint investigation, it was determined that there were (8) eight cases in the area dating back to 2012. The investigation determined that the work done was unprofessional; resulting in asphalt coming apart shortly after work was completed.
Three people were charged, and have been arraigned in court: Legrande Cooper Jr. of New Milford, CT, Kayla Cooper of Cairo, New York, and Coty Cooper of Balston Spa, NY.
After the investigation and arrests, Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris announced, “The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) continues to work with local law enforcement to remove anyone from the market who uses the guise of home improvement to cover criminal activity. Targeting elderly and other vulnerable populations is a particularly cruel act, but through a joint investigation with the Danbury Police Department, we been able to remove these predatory scammers from the market and send a strong warning to others that actions like this are criminal and will be investigated and brought to court.”
Consumers should be aware that crews often drive unmarked trucks and vans; their salespersons go door to door, and their sales pitch may involve “leftover asphalt” from a nearby job that’s available immediately, at a bargain price. Other hallmarks of the paving scam include high pressure sales tactics, confusing contracts and a request for payment in cash or personal check made out to cash.
Here are a few tips to support you during home improvement season:
• Talk to friends, family and neighbors for referrals to contractors that they have had success with.
• Verify that the contractor is registered in Connecticut as a home improvement contractor by looking up their credentials at www.elicense.ct.gov
, or contacting the Department of Consumer Protection.
• Check with your town for any required permits, and have them in place before work begins.
• Have your contractor provide all warranties and guarantees in writing.
• Always get a signed and dated contract for paving work; it will protect you from potential damages or misunderstandings
• You have a three day notice of cancellation that allows you to change your mind, make sure you know how to contact the company to cancel if you want.
To verify a contractor’s registration, please visit www.elicense.ct.gov
, or call the Department of Consumer Protection at (860) 713-6110, toll-free at 1-800-842-2649.
To file a complaint, you can email the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
. For other questions, call the hotline at 860.713.6300. You are also encouraged to get in contact your local police department.
Update as of 6/22/1016: On 6/22/16 Jamie Young, of Montgomery, NY, turned herself in to the Danbury Police Department on a warrant. She was processed on the charges of Larceny 2nd degree 53a-123(a)(5) and conspiracy to commit Larceny 2nd 53a-48 / 53a-123. Young was operating as Affordable Paving of Middletown NY.