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Con Artists Target Conn. Homeowners

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In the wake of recent home-improvement scams, Woodbridge police are warning residents to be wary of "independent contractors" who show up unannounced looking for work.

At one Woodbridge home, a man came to the door claiming to be doing yard work on a neighboring house. He asked the elderly resident to follow him to the backyard and point out the property lines. The man then asked if anyone else was home, saying he needed to inform all residents.

The elderly woman became suspicious, at which point the man left. He was described as being in his early twenties, possibly Hispanic and driving a dark-colored pickup truck.

In a second, similar incident, the resident followed the "contractor" out into the yard. Upon returning, the resident discovered that a second suspect had entered the home, shuffled around some belongs and taken money from a purse.

Days later, another elderly homeowner was confronted by three men offering to patch up the resident's driveway for $4000. The resident negotiated the price down to $1400, at which point the men asked for cash up front. They followed the resident to an ATM, took the cash and left.

The suspects are described as being three white males operating a gray truck.

Police caution residents to be careful of unsolicited work offers, always request a written contract and double check contractor licensing. Final payment for a job should be made after all the work is complete.

Residents are advised to contact the police and report suspicious activity right away.


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