OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned Washington homeowners and businesses to beware of cons claiming to repair your driveway. Scammers have been reported in communities across Washington, most recently in the Vancouver and Tacoma areas.
Both the Attorney General’s Office and the state Department of Labor and Industries have received recent complaints. Cons typically approach a homeowner or business and offer to repave a driveway or parking lot. They offer a great low price and claim they have just enough asphalt left over from another job nearby. The representatives are usually polite and persuasive and drive nice work vehicles.
“Use caution and common sense to avoid doing business with fly-by-night operators,” McKenna said. “They may offer great deals, a lifetime guarantee –
whatever it takes to get your money – but often the quality of the material used and its application are inferior. By the time you realize you have a problem, the driveway paving crew will be long gone. Even worse, cons may do the work and demand a much higher price at the end of the job.”
In at least once case, a consumer claimed he didn’t authorized the work; a contractor paved the driveway anyway then demanded payment.
Be wary of contractors who:
- Solicit door to door.
- Arrive in an unmarked truck or van.
- Claim they’ve just completed a job nearby and happen to have leftover materials, so they can do the work for a discount.
- Pressure you for an immediate decision.
- Accept only cash, require large deposits or require the entire cost up front. A deposit of 10-15 percent of the bid price is normally sufficient.
- Refuse to provide a written estimate, a contractor-registration number or local references.
- Provide credentials or references that can’t be verified.
Older adults are often prime targets for dishonest firms. Share this information with your older friends, relatives or neighbors.
For more tips on hiring a contractor, visit www.contractors.lni.wa.gov.
Report an unregistered contractor to Labor and Industries by calling the agency’s fraud hotline at 1-888-811-5974 or file a complaint online at www.contractors.lni.wa.gov. Report fraud to the Attorney General’s Office by filing a complaint online or by calling 1-800-551-4636 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays.
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Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Seattle Media Relations Manager, Attorney General’s Office, (206) 464-6432