For Immediate Release - June 07, 2012

DA Blodgett to Host Police Training on "Bunco Scams"

As summer approaches, local police departments can expect to receive reports of driveway scam artists preying on local residents.  “It is like clockwork,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “When the weather gets warm, people show up promising a deal on a driveway job and end up stealing thousands of dollars usually from a senior citizen.”

In many cases, the incidents are treated as civil business matters as opposed to criminal offenses.  In addition, many go unreported.  “These are well-organized criminal enterprises and we need to conduct coordinated investigations so we can arrest and prosecute them,” Blodgett said. 

Further, the District Attorney emphasized the need to promote awareness of these scams in communities on a regular basis.  Generally, unscrupulous people engage in businesses that are unregulated such as driveway repair or chimney cleaning because they can go undetected more easily.  “We can’t remind people often enough not to engage in business without a written contract or to succumb to high pressure tactics.  However, if this happens, please report it.  We cannot put a stop to this criminal behavior if we don’t know about it,” Blodgett said.

The training will include presentations from the National Association of Bunco Investigators.  (Bunco refers to swindle scams or confidence schemes.)  Other presenters are from the Pennsylvania State Police, Massachusetts State Police, Wilmington Police Department, the Essex County Anti-Scam Task Force and the Essex District Attorney’s Office.

The training is on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Little Theater at Endicott College.  The Little Theater is located on the lower level of the Halle Library on the Main campus.

This training is open to law enforcement agencies only and registration is required.  The media are invited to attend the opening remarks during which an overview of the problem will be presented.  Also, members of most Essex County police departments will be in attendance.

-30-