Asphalt paving scammers target rural areas

Posted By: Sarah

Homeowners beware! Scammers could be targeting your driveway.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office caught an asphalt paving scammer in the act Monday, starting to re-asphalt a victim’s driveway.

Deputies say this isn’t the first time this has happened, last summer there were a number of reports of scammers making promises too good to be true.

“It’s not asphalt but its asphalt millings, its the part that is ground off roadways so it has no adhesive or glue that keeps it together. And there is nothing written so the price goes up,” Sheriff Terry Wagner, Lancaster Sheriff’s Office, said.

Deputies say if someone knocks on your door offering you services you didn’t ask for there are some things you can do to protect yourself.

Todd Reinhardt lays asphalt for a living and says warning signs are there.

“They’ll knock on the door, that’s a red flag. They’ll say we got some leftover material from the last job, we’re working in the area here, that’s the bad guys right there,” Reinhardt said.

That leftover material they’re using is actually used asphalt that’s been ground off a roadway. How can you tell the difference if you’ve already had your driveway done?

“Grab your broom that you sweep your garage with, if you can go out and sweep your driveway into a pile that’s asphalt millings. If it’s hot mix paving its black and hard and it’s just like the blacktop county roads,” Reinhardt said.

The millings look like black gravel and crumble easily. Reinhardt says you can check to see what’s being used on your driveway.

“So go out to the truck and feel the side of the box. If it’s hot and you can’t keep your hand on it that’s hot mix,” he said.

The paver says these scammers get you with a double whammy: bad asphalt and hiked prices.

“They’re going to take your money and run,” Reinhardt said.

So what can you do if you think you are being scammed? Reinhardt says professional asphalt layers never go door to door. Ask the company for references or a list of jobs they’ve done. Be sure to ask for a written estimate. The scammers will often quote your services low, then charge more when they are finished.

Reinhardt also suggests to watch for out of town license plates and call local law enforcement if you’re worried.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office says the scammers will often move locations by night so no matter where you live you should be careful of these scammers.