KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Kingsport police are urging residents to be wary of paving scams.
Police say scam artists are out this time of year, trying to get your money by pretending to be a legitimate busines.
This is certainly not a new issue, as paving scams often surge in the Spring and early Summer each year.
Kingsport police say the single most common technique used by paving scam artists consists of the following ruse:
A scam artist will drive through a neighborhood looking for a driveway that stands out as one that could possibly be in need of repair. He will then stop, completely unsolicited, and approach the homeowner. He will claim that he has some material (asphalt) on his truck that is left over from another job that he can offer at a special reduced rate.
KPD offers this advice: If you encounter anyone touting anything remotely similar to the above narrative, STOP…this is almost always a scam. Ask the individual to leave your property and do not enter into business negotiations with them.
In a recent incident in Kingsport, a paving scam artist verbally offered to re-pave an average size driveway for $2,600. Upon completion, he handed the homeowner a bill for an exorbitant $26,500.
Additional Paving Scam Techniques to be Cautious of:
1) Scammers will often be vague about how much a job will actually cost. Always get a firm quote in writing detailing exactly what work is to be done complete with a mutually agreed upon price.
2) Scammers will often ask the customer to pay in advance. Never pay anything until the job is done.
3) Scammers are typically not concerned with quality work. There have been reports of driveways not being properly sloped away from the residence. The first time it rained, the water flowed into the carport or garage.
4) In addition to paving, scammers also offer driveway sealing services. They often use watered down sealer that washes off the first time it rains.
5) Out of state license plates on "company" vehicles should raise a red flag. The lack of a company name or logo being displayed on vehicles should also bring the legitimacy of the individual into question.
6) Paving scammers often pressure people and bully them into agreeing to work being done or paying more than they are comfortable paying.
Interesting facts about Legitimate Paving Contractors:
1) Legitimate paving contractors are typically so busy working that they don't have time to conduct door to door solicitation.
2) Legitimate paving contractors will give free written estimates.
3) Legitimate paving contractors will have the appropriate business licenses readily available for review.
4) Legitimate paving contractors will happily offer references for a client to check prior to accepting a contract.
Anyone who believes that they have or are being approached by a paving scam artist is urged to contact the Kingsport Police Department at 423-246-9111.