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State consumer agency warns of paving scams

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Staff | October 25, 2013

MADISON – Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection are warning area residents of door-to-door asphalt contractors who are scamming the public.

According to a WDATCP news release, teams of these contractors have hit Milwaukee and Racine Counties over the past couple of months, leaving behind upset consumers and poorly coated driveways.  Approximately 20 victims in the area have given as much as $100,000 combined to these scammers.

The workers show up unannounced at Wisconsin homes and businesses, but tend to prey on elderly homeowners. They claim to have leftover asphalt from a prior job and offer to blacktop a driveway for a cheap price. After a price is agreed upon and a payment is made upfront by cash or check, the crew begins working. The job is quickly and poorly done and the consumer is overcharged for the quality of the project. In some cases, only a base coat is applied and the promised top coat is skipped despite the consumer being charged for it.

Because these crews are always on the go, there is little reason to suspect that they will remain in any particular county or area. These crews are known for arbitrarily increasing their prices as they work, and they come and go from an area without a trace, leaving consumers empty-handed and with no recourse for any uncompleted work or property damage.

If a crew stops by your home offering an immediate resurfacing job, ask them to leave and contact local law enforcement.  If you wish to have your driveway properly resurfaced, contact local, trusted contractors and gather multiple bids.  Never pay the full price of a project upfront.

If you have been victimized by one of these door-to-door teams, report the crime to DATCP by filing a complaint on the DATCP website (http://datcp.wi.gov) or by contacting the Consumer Information Hotline at 800-422-7128 and requesting a complaint form.  Your report will help to get the word out to your community about these scammers and will assist law enforcement in the prosecution of these offenders.



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