Driveway scam

Published 09/07 2012 04:44PM

Updated 09/07 2012 06:14PM

URBANA -- A man is trying to get back on his feet, after he was scammed out of thousands of dollars. James Phelps says a father-son duo offered to fix his driveway for under $100.

After sealing a small part, police say 70-year old Gerald Prairie and 48-year old Dennis Prairie told Phelps they needed $4,000. Phelps thought he could trust them.

Officials say the men followed Phelps to an ATM where he paid them cash. Without providing a receipt, the men allegedly drove off. Now police say the pair scammed at least five people in Champaign County. The men pleaded not guilty.  
"I was aware of scams going around. I didn't think it'd ever happen to me. That day I let my guard down. I thought I was getting a good deal. There was a lot of things I should've done that I didn't do- but it was too late," Phelps said.

Phelps says a third man was also involved. Police are trying to identify him. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers. You can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward.

Champaign County Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 - TIPS
Text: Tip397 + info to CRIMES (274637)

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