GRANT COUNTY, Wash. -The Grant County Sheriff’s Office is warning local resident of the re-emergence of the paving scam. Two recent reports have been received which fleeced two rural Ephrata homeowners out their hard-earned money.
The scam works like this: a con man typically approaches a home owner or business and offers to repave a driveway or parking lot. They offer a low price and claim they have just enough asphalt left over from another job nearby. The representatives are usually polite and persuasive and drive nice work vehicles. The cons often target homeowners and businesses in areas where they are less-likely to be caught.
The problem with this scam is the materials and workmanship of the paving job is substandard. Once the shoddy workmanship finally appears, the fly-by-night paving crew is long gone and typically untraceable. Even worse, the cons may do t he work and then demand a higher price for the job.
The sheriff’s office warns citizens to be wary of contractors who:
• Solicit door to door.
• Arrive in an unmarked truck or van.
• Claim they’ve just completed a job nearby and happen to have leftover materials, so they can do the work for a discount.
• Pressure you for an immediate decision.
• Accept only cash, require large deposits or require the entire cost up front. A deposit of 10 to 15 percent of the bid price is normally sufficient.
• Refuse to provide a written estimate, a contractor-registration number or local references.
• Provide credentials or references that can’t be verified.
• Older adults are often prime targets for dishonest firms. Share this information with your older friends, relatives or neighbors.
If you think you have someone trying to scam you, call your local law enforcement agency right away.