Attorney warns: beware of asphalt paving scams

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Attorney Steven Getman is warning area residents to beware of scams concerning asphalt paving

and driveway sealing.

The scams crop up every summer and follow a similar pattern, Getman said.

However, once an oral agreement is struck the pavers will commence to refinish the entire

driveway or parking lot, and then present the victim with an exorbitant bill.

Sometimes when victims balk at paying, they are intimidated and threatened, police said.

Other times, the scammers offer a lifetime guarantee, but often the quality of the material used

and application is inferior, and the work begins to crack quickly.

According to Getman, methods used by disreputable paving contractors can include:

• Little or no preparation work.

• Using cheap material

• Not using enough material

• Using untrained or inexperienced employees

• No way to contact them for repairs or follow up

• Intimidation or threatening of clients

Getman suggests that consumers take the following steps to protect themselves against scam

companies:

• Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for any complaints.

• Ask for local references and verify that the contractor is in compliance with local

licensing, bonding and insuring requirements.

• Ask for identification and make note of the license plate number on the contractor

vehicle.

• Solicit two or three bids for the work you are planning, but don't automatically accept

the lowest.

• Make sure all bids are based on the same materials.

• Read all agreements and guarantees before signing.

• Make sure you understand all terms and conditions.

• Never sign a contract with sections left blank.

• Do not pay for work in advance. Pay by check when the work is completed to your

satisfaction.

Getman recommends that anyone who's had contact with what they believe to be a fraudulent

paving company to contact their local police department and/or a competent attorney to review

their legal rights.

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