Black Top Scam Reminder

For Immediate Release
City of Hermantown Police Department
5111 Maple Grove Rd, Hermantown, MN, 55811

Date: 06/03/2016

Subject: Black Top Scam Reminder

By: Sgt Marsolek

Seasonal Advisory

The Hermantown Police Department would like to remind citizens that this is the time of year scammers may begin to show up offering to do blacktop driveway repairs/sealing at very good prices. They often have local looking business cards printed up. Some of the issues have been spraying an oily product on a driveway instead of properly sealing it, or claiming to have left over asphalt from just down the road and offering a very low price. Best practice before hiring is to ask for local references and verify the company, and getting bids from several other businesses. Scammers use the low price and “available only right now” to lure people to take the offer. Report any suspicious solicitation to your local police department.

Some tips from The Better Business Bureau:

Tip #1: Beware door-to-door sales. Reputable asphalt contractors seldom offer their services door-to-door, and they’ll do so only if they are doing a legitimate job in the immediate area. If you’re approached, always ask for references and proof of proper licensing.

Tip #2: Leftovers? Probably not. One of the main hooks traveling companies use is offering “leftover ashpalt” from their last job. Professional asphalt contractors will know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely will they have leftover material. Among the only reasons a contractor might have left over material are inclement weather, equipment problems or cancellations.

Tip #3: Take yout time deciding. Reputable contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid far beyond the day the estimate is given. If the great deal they are offering you today is not available tomorrow or the next week it may be a scam.

Tip #4: Get it is writing. Insist upon a written contract that specifies, in detail, the work to be performed and the agreed-upon price.

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