'Asphalt gypsy' targets residents in multiple Ky. counties

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CYNTHIANA, Ky. (WKYT) - A man police are calling the 'asphalt gypsy' has been scamming people out of thousands of dollars in Fleming County, but he's also made his way into Harrison and Bourbon counties.

Here's how the scam works: A man or group of brothers who claim to work for "J&R Asphalt and Seal Coating" will make a deal with homeowners to re-seal their driveways. He's reportedly used the name Pat, Tim and Jimmy. After that job is done, he will talk the victims into getting their driveway paved, but says he needs the money up front.

He's taken anywhere from $300 to $3,000 from homeowners, cashes the check, but never comes back to finish the job. The Harrison County Sheriff's Department started receiving reports about this scam on May 30. Since then, at least 17 victims have been scammed out of nearly $25,000.

Police say the best way to avoid falling for scams like this is to never give anyone money before a job is done.

"I do want to warn people to not pay anybody up[front]. I don't care if they're tree trimmers or what they are, don't pay anybody upfront until your job is done," says Sheriff Bruce Hampton, Harrison County Sheriff's Office.

Police believe there are more victims. They're asking anyone who has been a target, or who sees the man, to call their local law enforcement agency.

Sheriff Hampton says multiple warrants have been issued for Jimmy A. Riley out of South Carolina. Victims have reported that he drives a 2008 white Ford F-250 with Ohio license plate: PGK131.

If someone has been a victim of this scam in Harrison County, they should call the Sheriff's Office at 859-234-7135.

For Bourbon County residents, the Sheriff's Office can be reached at 859-987-2130.

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