With the increased societal reliance on the internet, it is increasingly rare in this day and age to see scammers resort to classic, in person, confidence tricks like the fake driveway paving scam. However, a pair of scammers are being sued in Ohio as a result of over 30 separate complaints alleging illegal business practices tied to a driveway paving scam.
While many home improvement con artists use fake names, fake businesses, and vanish into thin air once they receive any cash, the Ohio pair tried to cover up the scam by performing "minimal and shoddy" work. All in all, investigators have found that the Ohio driveway paving scammers made nearly $70,000 as a result of the 30 separate complaints reported.
What's the Driveway Paving Scam?
The driveway paving scam is a type of home improvement scam. It works like this: Con men target homes with asphalt driveways, show up at the home, and appear to be legitimate contractors with tools and materials, ready, willing, and able to quickly re-asphalt your driveway for half the cost, or less even. When you ask how you got so lucky, they explain that they did a neighbor's house down the street, or have leftover asphalt paid for by the city/county/state, and have just enough left over materials to do your driveway.
If you agree, the scam can go several different directions. Sometimes a thin shoddy layer of asphalt will be laid, but usually, once an initial cash payment is made, the scammers disappear without ever showing back up, as one Delaware teen learned when trying to do a nice thing for his mother.
Home Improvement Scams
As the summer is fast approaching, now is the time to be particularly wary of home improvement cons. Like the driveway paving scam, home improvement scams involve professional looking contractors or tradesmen soliciting services in person that usually present a value that is too good to be true. Additionally, they frequently employ high pressure sales tactics, and will explain that if you don't make a decision right away, they're going to move on to your neighbors, because they don't have time to wait.