I fell for one of the oldest scams, before I read the message below, too late to help me, but maybe it will help other readers. Watch for operators from north Ga. Alvinnal
Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon cautioned residents and businesses in central Missouri — particularly in Osage County — to be wary of con artists who go door-to-door offering to pave or seal driveways and parking lots. Nixon said his office has received reports recently about driveway repair scams in the Rich Fountain area.
Driveway repair scams often result in consumers paying too much for an inferior product, Nixon said. In some cases, weeds start to grow through the thin layer of asphalt within a few days, and the asphalt begins to crumble.
"These asphalt gypsies often stay under the public's radar by moving from town to town offering low estimates and making false promises about their work," Nixon said. "In many cases, the work is started but never finished or is of such poor quality that it must be removed at an additional cost to the homeowner."
Nixon said there are several steps consumers can take to avoid becoming a driveway repair scam victim:
Be wary of someone who solicits you to do the repair work. Con artists often will tell homeowners that they have leftover asphalt from another job and offer to repave their driveways.
Always get at least two written estimates from local businesses before authorizing any work, and ask for the names of references to call.
Get a written contract that spells out the responsibilities of both the homeowner and the contractor.
If you encounter someone you suspect is trying to defraud you, tell them "no," close the door, and call your local sheriff or police department immediately.
If you are interested in having work done, do it on your own terms.
Consumers can file a complaint about driveway repair scams or other fraud. Or they can call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.
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