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Man sought in connection with alleged local scam

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By Tom Wilmoth

It’s believed that Larry Foster has carved a path of scams from Indiana all the way to Bedford County.

    The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Foster, having taken out warrants for his arrest on construction fraud and obtaining money under false pretenses.
    Foster is being sought in connection with numerous complaints from citizens to the BCSO of a possible water filtration system scam.
    Several area residents reported that a white male, in his 40s, using the name Larry Foster, showed up at their home driving a white Lincoln with a Kentucky license plate, stating he was representing Advanced Rejuvenation in Danville. The suspect had the victims sign “a legitimate looking contract” and tells them that he will give a discount if they pay in advance, according to  Major Ricky Gardner of theBCSO. He then has them write him a check in the amount of  around $3,000.  
    Gardner said Foster has been linked to a number of other locations, including Franklin County, where he has allegedly tried the water filtration system scam.
    “He has an elaborate contract (for them to sign),” Gardner said of the scam. “After he reels them in, he tells them if they pay him up front he’ll knock off 10 percent of what the cost is.”
    Investigators from the BCSO have been in contact with authorities in West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana.
    “We think he’s from around Louisville, Ky.,” Gardner said.
    Apparently Foster had been arrested in West Virginia prior to the press release last week. He had been released on bond there.
    Gardner said since the release from the BCSO, Foster has allegedly contacted at least one of his victims, stating to them in a phone conversation that he “was a legitimate businessman and that he was going to clear his name.”
    But, Gardner said, Foster has yet to produce the water system.
    “He does know that we are looking for him,” Gardner said.
    More charges could be filed against Foster, he added. Currently he is being sought on two felony warrants for construction fraud and two warrants on the obtaining money under false pretenses charge.
    Gardner said Franklin County authorities have had similar complaints.
    The fact that Foster is making “cold calls” on people should serve as a clue for residents to take notice, Gardner said. As a general rule, he said if someone shows up at your home, unsolicited, trying to sell you something, they should be sent on their way.
    “Most legitimate businesses don’t do cold calls, they don’t show up at people’s houses,” he said.
    One such scam that often is tried involves paving, he said. In that, someone shows up stating that they have a load of asphalt left over from a nearby job and offers the resident a paving job and a reduced rate.
    “That’s never a good thing,” Gardner said.
    In general, Gardner said if you don’t know who someone is, you don’t give out personal information to them, especially if you didn’t call them.
    Just because they have a business card, it doesn’t make them a legitimate business, he warned. “You can go on a computer and print out business cards that look professional,” Gardner said.
    According to the BCSO, Foster is currently wanted for similar scams in Ohio. Ohio authorities have confirmed that they will extradite Foster if he is located.
    Investigators from Bedford and Franklin County have teamed up to investigate Foster for his alleged crimes in this area. Investigators have also been in contact with the Indiana State Police who are also actively investigating Foster, Gardner stated.
    Foster allegedly uses multiple tactics “designed to victimize residents as well as to avoid prosecution,” the release from the Sheriff’s Office stated.
    The release stated that “one disturbing trend” Foster employs is contacting victims after being charged with fraud. Victims are being asked that if Foster contacts them with a promise of a reimbursement, to not accept any money as this may make this a “civil agreement.”
    Following his arrest in West Virginia, Foster was released on bond last Wednesday.
    Foster is believed to be operating a white 2001 Lincoln bearing Kentucky tag 305EFZ.
    Anyone with information or the whereabouts of  Larry Foster is asked to contact Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 888-798-5900, or the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-586-7827. All crime stopper callers remain anonymous and could receive a reward up to a $1,000.