Don't Fall For It: Driveway Paving Scams On Rise In NY

Police are warning of an uptick in scammers hoping to take advantage of the warmer spring weather.

Police are warning of an uptick in driveway paving scams heading into spring.

Police are warning of an uptick in driveway paving scams heading into spring.

Photo Credit: Canva/alexandrumagurean

Each year, agencies across the country see an increase in complaints about fraudsters who bait homeowners with driveway paving services, according to the North Greenbush Police Department in New York.

“As the trees sprout leaf buds and the daffodils peek out of their underground hiding, so must the scam artists offering to pave or sealcoat your driveway for the low low price of only five times what it would cost for a legitimate business to do it,” the agency said on Facebook. “And they must be paid in cash, by the way.”

The con artists often tell homeowners they have some extra asphalt they need to get rid of and then, once they get the victim’s money, disappear without ever completing the work.

“The reality is that a reputable company would have accounted for how much they needed and wouldn't have enough left over to do yet another driveway,” North Greenbush Police said. “There was no job down the street but there's a con job brewing.”

In the rare cases where jobs are actually completed, the end result is often ugly.

“Picture blobs of bubble gum dropped all willy-nilly around your driveway. And like Fruit Stripe bubble gum, it lasts for about 30 seconds,” police said. “Good luck getting a hold of them again if you even had any of their contact info to begin with. You paid cash and they ‘never heard of you.’”

Authorities offered up the following tips to avoid falling victim to door-to-door scammers:

  • Ask to see ID and take a picture of it or write down the name and date of birth
  • Ask for a business card. Reputable businesses would have them
  • Ask to see their peddler's permit (hint: they won't have one)
  • Look the company up online
  • Call a neighbor or nearby family member to meet with them
  • Call your local police department and request an officer
  • Ask local residents on social media if they’ve heard of or dealt with the company

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