State warning people about driveway blacktop scammers

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The State Department of Consumer Protection has put out a warning about a group of conmen moving though our state who are ripping people off on driveway paving deals.  State officials say they turned up in Meriden and Middletown this week, in some cases putting down shoddy pavement on driveways where people didn’t even hire them.“We’ve learned of a case in which workers reportedly began paving a driveway without being hired and even without permission from the homeowner,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris said today. “If proven to be true, it’s an outrageous practice. Reportedly, after completing the unauthorized work the pavers allegedly asked to be paid, then left. I urge consumers to watch out for workers offering jobs in your neighborhood, and don’t accept any door to door offers. In fact, let local law enforcement know where these workers are.”

State officials say the driveway scammers often travel in unmarked utility trucks and vans.  Their “salespeople” go door-to-door offering “leftover” asphalt from a nearby job that is available immediately at a bargain price. Other warning signs are high pressure sales tactics, sloppy contracts, and a request for payment in cash or a check made out to cash.

State officials say these groups move quickly and they are hard to catch.  Here are some tips from state consumer officials.·         Find a local paving contractor if your driveway needs repair. Don’t fall for pitches delivered door to door.  ·         Because imposter scams are also a growing problem, check identification, such as a driver’s license, and compare this with the name on the DCP Home Improvement Registration card for anyone who offers to make home improvements, such as paving. Make sure they are who they say they are!·         Get the contractor’s certificates of insurance liability and workman’s compensation coverage from the contractor’s insurance provider.·         Check with your town for any required permits and have them in place before work begins.·         Have your contractor provide all warranties in writing.To verify a contractor’s registration, please call the Department of Consumer Protection at (860) 713-6110, toll-free at 1-800-842-2649, or visit the agency website at www.ct.gov/dcp.

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