Police warn Hunterdon County residents about paving scam targeting elderly
READINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Hunterdon County) – The Readington Township police are warning residents of paving scams targeting elderly people in Hunterdon county.
Police say in recent days they have received reports of unsolicited paving companies approaching township homes offering to repave driveways. This is a common scam by unscrupulous pavers and the scam is perpetrated by shady paving companies who have not applied for solicitation permits.
According to police, the pavers will approach the home owners claiming to have extra materials from a nearby job. They will offer a low price or will not give a price to the homeowner. After the shoddy work is completed they will inform the homeowner of a price much higher than agreed upon. The homeowner is usually threatened or intimidated by the paver into payment.
Police say some of the asphalt paving scams warning signs are:
• Selling door-to-door. Reputable asphalt contractors will rarely, if ever, sell their product door-to-door.
• Claiming they have leftover asphalt from another job. Professional asphalt contractors will know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely will they have leftover material.
• Push you to make a quick decision. Reputable contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for days or weeks. If the great deal they are offering you today is not available tomorrow or next week it is probably a scam. Never hire someone on the spot. Ask for references, then check them!
• No contract offered. Insist on a written contract specifying in detail, the work to be performed and the agreed total price – not the price per square foot. Chances are unless you measured the area to be paved you do not know what the total cost will be.
• Cash only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don’t require cash-only terms.
• Deals that seem to be good to be true. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of the work will also be quite low.
• Unmarked truck. Often the trucks they travel in are unmarked or they have an out-of-town address and phone number. A little research will reveal that they have no permanent address and the phone number is often an answering machine.