KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Issue New Home Improvement Scam Alert

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Issue New Home Improvement Scam Alert
DATE: May 30, 2014
Kingsport Police Detectives have recently been alerted of a new home improvement scam artist operating in the area. The suspect is a female and is reported to have been operating primarily in the neighborhood surrounding Warpath Drive and Bridwell Street in Kingsport; however, her activity is not necessarily confined to that area. She appears to be primarily targeting older women.

She is alleged to be offering driveway and gutter cleaning services, and is reportedly charging exorbitant fees, as much as $1,500, for these services. The suspect does not even supply her own equipment, opting to use the homeowner’s tools and supplies to complete the work.

In one reported instance, the suspect refused to accept a check for payment, and instead drove her victim to the bank to withdraw cash. The suspect is believed to be operating out of some form of sport utility vehicle.

As previously released, reputable contractors are typically so busy that they do not have time to solicit additional work door-to-door. Reputable contractors also offer free detailed written estimates up front and provide references upon request. They also have all requisite business licenses on file and readily available for review.

Residents are cautioned to be wary of workers operating out of vehicles with no company name displayed on the vehicle and with out of state license plates displayed on the vehicle. Scam artists often use pressure tactics to encourage their victims into agreeing to have work done that they may not necessarily need or want done. They will also bully them into paying more than they would normally feel comfortable paying for the service being offered.

Anyone who has recently been targeted by a home improvement scam artist is encouraged to contact the Kingsport Police Department at 423-246-9111.

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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