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Police warn warmer weather brings driveway scammers

— State Police are alerting homeowners to a scam that typically picks up right around when temperature starts rising.

A prevalent scam during the spring typically involves a traveling asphalt paving crew offering a low-price opportunity to pave a homeowner’s driveway, according to police. The scam artist will usually claim to be a driveway contractor, pavement company or seal coating business after showing up unexpectedly at a home. These individuals often say there is material leftover from another job.

“Using a bit of caution and common sense though can help prevent serious problems,” State Police said in a statement. “The ability to hit and run is the key to a successful asphalt paving or seal coating scam. These crews usually wander from one community to another offering driveway services. Members of these crews typically approach homeowners at the front door or in their yards, promising low estimates.”

Police said if the homeowner agrees to the repairs, the entire driveway is usually paved and the cost could be quoted at more than $5,000. Police also said the work is “shoddy and inferior material is used.”

Some unscrupulous driveway contractors will agree upon driveway repairs and have the homeowners pay cash upfront, police said. The contractor will claim the trucks are just down the road and will be at the home soon, but no one will show up to complete the work.

Sealing scams can be similar to paving scams, police said, but sometimes the scammer will appear to have properly sealed the driveway. The problem will be the material used will be “little more than paint or an inferior product,” which doesn’t properly coat the driveway.

Police advise people to always ask for a written contract, because without it a low estimate can grow to “hundreds or even thousands of dollars” once work is completed.

“It is up to consumers to protect themselves from scam artists,” State Police said in a statement. “If you are eager to have the work done, you should insist that it be on your terms. Ask for references and check them before agreeing to have the work done.”

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