BBB: Beware of door-to-door paver scams targeting Western Virginia
Better Business Bureau Serving Western Virginia is issuing a scam alert involving door-to-door pavers reported in our area. BBB offers helpful tips on how to avoid being swindled by these traveling con artists and their scams.
BBB Scam Tracker has received an increase in reports of door-to-door contractors. Victims have reported duct cleaning and driveway paving scams circulating in neighborhoods of Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Rocky Mount, and surrounding areas totaling over $10,000 in monetary losses.
According to one consumer, he was approached by door-to-door paving contractors offering their services. The scam involved a middle-aged man in a grey pick-up truck waiting nearby as his younger partner offered to patch the driveway for a small fee. The two people are suspected of targeting seniors as younger residents were never approached by the itinerant workers.
“If your driveway needs paving or house needs repairs, don’t trust just anyone to do the job, especially if the offer is too good to be true or seems too convenient,” says Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western Virginia. “Victims end up with shoddy materials – or nothing at all – to show for what they paid.”
Every year, itinerant pavers come through western Virginia enticing consumers with promises of great deals on paving their driveways. Their usual approach is to go door-to-door stating that they have left-over materials from a job they did in the neighborhood and offering the consumer a huge discount to pave their driveway.
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.
BBB tips to avoid itinerant contractor scams
- Be wary of unsolicited offers. Most scams involving contractors begin when a random contractor makes an effort to go out of their way to offer you an estimate you never asked for.
- Be leery if the company claims that it has “leftover material.” Most leftover material is not adequate to complete a new job.
- Watch out for 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.
- Ask for identification and license/permit. A company should provide you with information including name, address, and company association on a business card and proof of solicitation permit, if required for your area. If a door-to-door solicitor is claiming to be affiliated with your utility company or someone you do business with, it’s always best to follow up directly using verifiable contact information before providing additional information to the solicitor.
- Door-to-door sales. Reputable asphalt contractors do not sell their products door-to-door. Consumers should be very suspicious of anyone appearing at their front doors offering low-cost asphalt.
- Vehicles with out-of-state or county license plates. This type of scam many times will be run by persons traveling through our local area from other locations. The big equipment (pickups or trailers) will be licensed elsewhere.
- Research companies and contractors before you hire. Start with BBB.org. If the contractor has multiple negative reviews and complaints, don’t hire them. Often, a simple internet search will reveal companies or individuals that have been involved in fraudulent activities or provided unsatisfactory work to previous clients.
- Contact your local city or county government. See if the company is licensed to do business in your area. Many municipalities require a peddlers or solicitors license to sell door-to-door.