Are you considering a new driveway? Do you need to repair a few potholes? Maybe it’s time for a total parking lot replacement? Whatever the case, you could become the next target of an asphalt paving scam.

Nowadays, scam artists are much closer to home than some mystery man in a call center across the globe. It seems like every industry has morally-bankrupt individuals, and the paving industry is no exception.

These scammers will claim to represent a professional asphalt paving company or may even present themselves as an out-of-work contractor. They often promise to complete your project at a cheap price. However, what usually happens is that they either do a poor job or take a partial payment and disappear. While we’ve all probably heard of these scenarios happening to elderly homeowners, believe it or not, they occur in the business world, too. Don’t be a victim! Here are some guidelines to follow to avoid being scammed– and to get your paving project done professionally, too:

Sketchy Business Branding

Any representative of a credible paving company should be able to provide you with a valid phone number, business address, and website address– without hesitation. Take a moment to visit their website and Google Business Profile to verify the legitimacy of the business. Don’t forget to check out their Google reviews, too.

Look at their license plate– If they pulled up in an unmarked truck, or if they have out-of-state phone numbers and license plates, this should be your signal to tell them to get lost. These folks are travelers on-the-move looking to scam you and everyone else in their path.

All Talk, No Contract

You must get everything in writing! The absence of an agreed-upon contract is a huge red flag that you shouldn’t ignore. Never allow work to commence on your property without having a fully signed written contract to hold the contractor accountable. The contract should outline clear project expectations for the contractor, the company, and the client

A legitimate paving contractor will attend property walkthroughs, provide a detailed proposal, meet all of your project’s needs, and ensure you are satisfied with the work when the job is completed.

No Funny Bid-ness

When reviewing bids, pay close attention to the entire proposal– including small details like the letterhead that it’s composed on. Be sure that the proposal explains everything that is taking place, and that everything you expect from your paving project is included in the scope. Within the proposal, you should see information on how/when the project will be scheduled, how much material will be installed, how thick the asphalt pavement will be, and the dimensions or square footage.

Payment Problems

Sometimes, con artists will use high-pressure sales techniques making people feel the need to act immediately to get a special one-time offer. They will often require all of the money upfront to seal the deal, leaving victims down on funds with no asphalt work to show for it.

Scammers will rarely take credit cards or checks, and will often only accept payment with cash, Venmo, or Cash App. Getting a direct payment makes it much easier to escape as soon as they’ve been paid. Requesting to pay with a card or check is an excellent way to weed out potential scammers. If they refuse, tell them to kick rocks!

Lack of References

Reputable paving companies will gladly share past work, testimonials, and a list of verifiable references with you. Scam artists, however, have no work history and won’t be able to provide you with details of past work or testimonials.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a scammer, file a report with your local police department and the Better Business Bureau.

Getting scammed into paying a con artist is one of the worst things that could happen to a property owner. If you are looking for a paving contractor that you can trust, look no further. The trained professionals at Pavement Solutions have decades of experience in providing award-winning concrete and asphalt paving, maintenance, and repairs across the country.

We would love to work together on planning your next asphalt and/or concrete project. Schedule your free assessment and estimate today by requesting a quote on our site or by calling the office at (815) 675-0696.

Posted by C. Butler on 12/26/23