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Police warn people to be wary of ‘extra asphalt’ driveway-paving scams

Published: 8/29/2021 4:29:09 PM

State police are warning people not to fall for a common bait-and-switch scam in which a promise of cheap driveway paving through the use of “extra asphalt” turns into an expensive fraud.

“Paving scams like this occur regularly in New Hampshire and increase during spring and summer. The perpetrators target senior citizens and are well known to police across the country. Criminal charges vary by state but are commonly filed,” the police wrote in an extensive press release.

The most prominent cases in New Hampshire involve Cornelius V. Stanley and a number of relatives, who have been convicted of similar scams in New Hampshire since at least 2010, and in other states. As recently as in February 2020, police in Waltham, Mass., cautioned people to be on the lookout for Stanley’s paving scams.

In their release, state police outlined a typical scam:

“A man knocks on your door and says he has extra asphalt and is willing to pave your driveway at a discounted price. The high-pressure approach is designed to confuse and intimidate you. ... If you agree, here is what likely happens. Men and equipment suddenly appear and begin ‘working’ on your driveway. At some point, the conman claims a mistake was made and you owe thousands more than the original price. He threatens that if you refuse to pay, the ‘work’ will cease. You may be escorted to the bank, to withdraw money. When you realize the scam you try to cancel the check only to learn it was cashed within minutes of it being written.”

This general outline of the scam, in which people pretend to be working in the neighborhood and can offer cheap service, has also been used with tree work and chimney work, police said.

The best response is to say no and tell them to leave. If they pressure you, ask to see proof of insurance. “Conmen rarely have worker’s compensation insurance,” the release noted.

“Call the police if they begin working without your consent for service,” police added.

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