Driveway paving scam reported in county

Published 10:18 am Thursday, November 15, 2012

Local residents are urged to be wary of a driveway paving scam that has recently been reported to the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Charles West said his office has had two incidents reported in the last week.

“What happens is they show up saying they’ve just finished a paving job and have some leftover asphalt that they can give you at a low price,” West said. “Then they might measure your driveway and give you a low estimate, but after they’ve done the work, they’ll charge more.”

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One county resident, who did not wish to be named, said she was approached by an “asphalt paving company” and then paid them several thousand dollars for inferior work.

She paid with a check, which was immediately cashed the next day at an area bank.  She said the bank questioned the large check and brought it to her attention.

“Sometimes the people get pushy and try to intimidate you,” West said.

There are several things people can do to prevent being scammed by “fly-by-night” contractors.

Ask for references from the company and then check them out.

“You should know what it’s going to cost to start with,” West said.

Get a written estimate for the work, and then compare it to other area contractors.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he said.

West also said that there have been reports of phone scams, including one where a resident was told they had taken out a loan over the internet and if they did not give out personal information and make a payment, they would be arrested.

“Don’t give out important information over the phone,” West said. “Be careful with your bank account numbers, credit card numbers and Social Security Number.”

To report any suspicious activity or to file a report, call the Sheriff’s Office at 335-6568.