TRINITY COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Some might be unaware of the asphalt paving scam, but Trinity County officials have warned the public of what to look out for so people don’t get scammed out of thousands of dollars.
How the scam works
The scammer will show up in a work truck claiming to have leftover asphalt or sealant and offers to pave or seal the victim’s driveway for a lower cost than the other companies would and ask for the payment upfront.
If the scammer is paid in cash, they may simply leave the neighborhood without even starting the work.
Most pavement scammers will start the job and do a poor job or not even finish it fully. Especially if they intend on hitting other houses in the same neighborhood for a quick payday.
Bold scammers will ask for around $2,000 upfront for the entire job and lay down only the first layer of sealant. After doing so they come back demanding up to $10,000 instead of the agreed fee.
When the homeowner refuses to pay the scammer will often curse, yell and threatens to call the police or sue the homeowner. They often go after the elderly and will sometimes leave and come back with a group of men to intimidate the homeowner into paying the extra $8,000.
The first red flags to look out for to prevent it from the scam starting or getting too far include:
- Door-to-door solicitation
- Overly aggressive sales pitches
- Out-of-state or non-local phone number on scammers card
- P.O. Box rather than a physical business address
- Work truck with no license plates, obscured plates or out-of-state plates
- Work truck claiming they work for the county but lacks local identifiers
An ounce of prevention and knowing what red flags to look for is imperative to saving homeowners thousands of dollars. If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.