Nailed: A fraud prevention and compliance blog

Written by Elizabeth Smith,
L&I's Assistant Director for
Fraud Prevention and
Labor Standards

Sep. 1, 2011

Paving scam-artist tries to steamroll victim

A big shout out to KIRO-TV for airing this story of an asphalt job turned bad in Chehalis.  It’s always unfortunate to see people taken advantage of, but I’m thankful this victim came forward as a warning to other homeowners.

Every summer we alert homeowners about the traveling paver scam: door-to-door contractors – often unregistered and doing business illegally in Washington – offering to pave your driveway for an unbelievably cheap price. The work they leave behind is often subpar, and by the time the homeowner files a complaint with L&I the contractor is long gone.

This particular story took an alarming twist when the contractor doing the job allegedly turned violent, after the customer refused to pay an inflated price once the work was done.  You can also see in this story the quality of the driveway—it’s very thin, with no sign of any gravel foundation beneath. I’m no expert, but any reputable asphalt paver will tell you a driveway is only as solid as its foundation.

Know who you hire to work on your home. Check that they are registered with L&I, bonded, and insured. Beware of scams and high-pressure sales pitches.

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