The Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office is reminding citizens that this is a time of year when unscrupulous “contractors” target citizens with asphalt paving scams.
Sheriff Mark Overman says this week they have become aware of said contractors here in the Panhandle that have been the subject of complaints in the past.
Overman says the scam typically begins with a knock on the door of a rural residence, and someone claiming to have extra asphalt, roofing supplies, or lightning rods and offering services at a greatly reduced price.
Generally there is a truck with supplies and one or more employees to do the job. However, upon completion, the “contractor” demands a great deal more money than was initially quoted, and the job is very sub-standard.
Overman adds that his department has not received any reports yet this year, but have in years past. Recently the Wyoming Attorney General obtained a significant judgment against a man that was doing this in counties near Nebraska and using three different company names.
According to the Better Business Bureau, “Door-to-door scams of this nature often result in unsatisfied consumers who end up paying for inferior work that often must be redone. These scams are typically perpetrated by itinerant workers who are in the area one day and gone the next. By the time you notice something is wrong, the “company” is long gone and looking for their next victim.”
Overman says to avoid becoming a victim, BBB offers the following advice:
Be leery if the company claims that it’s “leftover” asphalt. Leftover hot mix asphalt would be too cold to place properly, while cold mix is used exclusively for small patches, not general paving. Asphalt is a perishable product and if it cools too much, is useless as a hot mix paving product.
Deals that seem “Too good to be true”. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of the work will be low as well.
Door-to-door sales. Reputable asphalt contractors do not sell their product door-to-door. Consumers should be very suspicious of anyone appearing at their front doors offering low cost asphalt.
Vehicles with out of state license plates. This type of scam many times will be run by persons traveling through the local area from other states. The big equipment (pickups or trailers) will be licensed in other states.
Anyone with questions about this issue should contact local law enforcement.