Arkansas A.G. Warns About Paving Scams

April 29, 2004

Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe is alerting Arkansans to a common scam already returning to Arkansas this spring.

Every year, men with asphalt trucks drive through Arkansas towns with offers of deeply-discounted, one-time-only deals for re-surfacing driveways or other paving jobs. They never stay in town long, and they often leave with thousands of dollars from the pockets of unsuspecting Arkansans.

“There are hundreds of legitimately-operating paving companies in our state,” Beebe said. “The ones we are warning about are roaming scam operations that go door-to-door and often target senior Arkansans. They may quote misleading prices, perform sub-standard work and intimidate victims into paying thousands of dollars, sometimes up-front. They then leave town and are difficult to track.”

There are variations on the scam, but here is how they usually work. The scam artists knock on your door after parking their asphalt truck outside. They claim that they have recently finished a paving job nearby, usually a business parking lot or a minor street project. Inside their truck, they say, is leftover asphalt they have to get rid of before they leave the area. You are offered a very low per-foot rate to re-surface your driveway. If you agree, the scammers do a quick and sub-standard job of covering your driveway with asphalt. Then they demand that you pay thousands of dollars for the work. As senior Arkansans are usually targeted, intimidating tactics are often used to bully victims into paying. Once they receive your money, the scam artists are gone, never to be heard from again.

There are warning signs that can help you prevent yourself from being victimized by this scam.

* These pavers will rarely, if ever, offer a written estimate for the total cost of the job.

* They hesitate to provide any contact information. If they do, a phone number is often phony or merely an answering service. Addresses provided will be from out-of-town, and are likely fabrications. An official-looking business card does not mean the information it contains is legitimate.

When you are solicited door-to-door for any service, and immediacy is emphasized, more often than not, it is a too-good-to-be-true scam.
Since these con artists don’t stay in town long, and usually do not provide legitimate contact information, they can be difficult to find if you are dissatisfied with their work.

“As with most scams, the best way to stop these pavers is by staying ahead of them,” Beebe emphasized. “If we can spread the word through Arkansas neighborhoods to be on the alert for these people, we can prevent their illegal activities from succeeding and save our hard-earned money.”

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