Police warn of shovel scam - WNEM TV 5

Police warn of shovel scam

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People in one town said a man is trying to take advantage of them by demanding money for a service they didn't ask for.

Flushing police are on the lookout for the pushy peddler. They said he has taken advantage of at least one elderly person and are trying to stop him before he strikes again.

"He was rather persistent. Ringing the bell, ringing the bell, knocking," said Kathy, Flushing resident.

She wanted to keep her last name anonymous. She lives on the south side of the city.

Over the weekend she said she came face to face with a man who offered to shovel the walkway to her front door and who didn't want to take no for an answer.

"I just didn't have a good feeling about it. So I opened the door and just said, 'not interested,'" she said.

After that, she said the man quit bothering her. Apparently, that persistence paid off for him when he took advantage of one of Kathy's elderly neighbors.

Police said he approached the woman's home and asked if she'd like her walk shoveled. She also said no, but the man cleared the walk anyway. He then went back to her door and strong-armed the woman to pay him $50.

Police said the intimidation had the woman pay up. They said the crook popped up after the last two times it snowed.

Kathy calls the man's actions despicable.

"I think that's the part that is really difficult to accept is the vulnerability piece. That people would prey on that part. These people are all good citizens and we all try to be careful, but one has to be more alert these days it seems," Kathy said.

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