EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence Police Department has issued a public awareness announcement pertaining to the return of driveway paving scams aimed at bilking residents out of their hard-earned cash.
The EPPD noted the following scenario:
A man knocks on your door and says he has extra asphalt and is willing to pave your driveway at a discounted price. His high pressure approach confuses and intimidates. You are not getting a deal, you are being scammed. There is no such thing as extra asphalt!
If you agree, here is what likely happens. Men and equipment suddenly appear and begin “working” on your driveway. At some point, the conman claims a mistake was made and you owe thousands more than the original price. He threatens that if you refuse to pay, the “work” will cease. You may be escorted to the bank, to withdraw money. You notice that the “invoice” does not include a company name. When you realize the scam you try to cancel the check only to learn it was cashed within minutes of it being written.
Paving scams like this occur regularly in New England and increase during spring and summer. The perpetrators target senior citizens and are well known to police across the country. Criminal charges vary by state but are commonly filed.
Avoid victimization and consider the following suggestions:
Beware of unsolicited offers to do paving work. Do not let the solicitors inside your home. Calmly but firmly tell the solicitors you are not interested and tell them to leave your property. If they refuse your instructions call the police.
Educate yourself and your family. Search the internet for “paving scams.”
Ask to see proof of the solicitors’ insurance. Conmen rarely have worker’s compensation insurance and if one of them is injured at your home, the claim could be made against your homeowner’s insurance.
Call the police if they begin “working” without your consent for service.
Be a good neighbor. Paving scams target senior citizens. Call the police if you have questions, or if unfamiliar people or companies appear at your door or in your neighborhood.
If you have been the target of a scam or if you have any helpful information call the EPPD at 401-435-7600.