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Don’t Get Rolled by This New Paving Scam

Image courtesy of MGN Online

Image courtesy of MGN Online

Beware of a new asphalt paving scam targeting the Midwest and Southeast. Recent reports say scammers are posing as paving contractors. Incidents have been reported from Wisconsin and Illinois to Georgia and Tennessee.

The M.O.:

These con artists have been moving from state to state offering to re-seal driveways for $300. “After the work was completed, consumers were told that the work would cost $2,250 instead of the agreed upon $300”. In one case, instead of sealing the driveway, “they actually put high-gloss paint on it”.

When considering hiring a paving contractor, get references, check with BBB at bbb.org and verify that the contractor is in compliance with all local licensing, bonding and insuring requirements. Make sure all promises are put into writing and do not sign any agreement without understanding it.

Red Flags to Look For in a Paving Scam:

The contractor says there are leftover materials from another job. Scammers use this as a ploy to explain how they can provide you with a huge discount over the normal price. The catch is that they will ask you to pay everything up front. The materials are reported to be inferior and the work ends up shoddy. Don’t pay in advance. Only pay once the project is completed to your satisfaction – after you’ve had a chance to inspect the work.

Pressure to make a quick decision. Trustworthy contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for days or weeks. It should specify in detail the work to be performed and the total price.

You are asked to pay in cash. A trustworthy, honest contractor will take checks or credit cards.

The company is from out-of-state or the vehicle unmarked. Look at the company vehicle. If it is unmarked or has an out-of-state license plate, be cautious. Even if the representative claims to have a local phone number, scammers can easily purchase disposable cell phones to provide a local number in the area they are soliciting.

If you have been a victim of this or any other scam, contact the BBB and contact your local police department immediately.

Sources: BBB North Alabama, BBB Atlantic Provinces, BBB Milwaukee.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.