Brookfield residents warned about traveling driveway 'contractor - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Brookfield residents warned about traveling driveway 'contractor'

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BROOKFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -

Police in Brookfield are telling township residents to be careful if someone comes to their door offering to pave or repair their driveway.

A post on the police department's Facebook page says that a man from Arkansas was going door-to-door Thursday soliciting paving work.

Authorities say Spring and early Summer months are a common time for traveling 'contractors' to enter the area seeking work.

Reports say that often times this work is poorly done and highly inflated in price.

Officials are warning citizens to be cautious of any out of state traveling contractors offering driveway work.

The individuals offering this work often prey on the elderly, according to police.

Because of this, police recommend looking out for yourself and your neighbors, by reporting any suspicious activity to authorities. 

Police want to remind citizens that there is an ordinance in Brookfield Township against any type of door-to-door solicitation of products or services.

The Better Business Bureau offers some red flags of a door-to-door asphalt or paving scam:

  • “I’ve got extra materials” - The salesperson will start the unsolicited pitch for home improvements with “I have extra materials” or “I was working down the street” and then offers the homeowner a great deal for the extra materials. Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. 
  • No contract or vague contract - Reputable businesses will draw up a contract with a description of materials, labor, start and completion dates, company name, local address, telephone number and registration number. For jobs valued at more than $5,000, state law requires contracts to include additional details.
  • Payment requested upfront - Be wary of anyone asking you to pay cash upfront before work can start, especially for a company that claims to have the materials needed to perform the stated work. Instead, use the rule of thirds when paying: pay one-third up front, one-third halfway and one-third at the completion of the work and when the homeowner is satisfied with the job. Paying with a credit card offers more protection than debit or cash. Checks should be made out to the company, rather than an individual’s name.
  • No identification - Reputable companies will have proper identification, solicitation permits for the area and be able to provide company name, phone number and physical address. Check for identification on company vehicles. Look for out-of-state plates on vehicles, often a sign of a fly-by-night contractor.

Before making any hiring decisions, thoroughly research a company. Requesting bids from 2-3 other companies can also help to identify unscrupulous contractors. BBB provides Business Profiles on local companies and can also help a homeowner identify trustworthy paving companies and other contractors in the community using the BBB Accredited Business Directory.

Never let anyone you don’t know into your home. If you feel threatened by someone at your door, contact the police. BBB encourages anyone who comes across a door-to-door paving scam to report it to BBB’s Scam Tracker and the local police. 

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