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BBB: Minnesotans should beware of asphalt scams

With summer comes an increase in asphalt scams, according to the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Asphalt scams -- when a scammer claims to have leftover asphalt from a previous job and offers to pave or repave a customer's driveway for cheap -- have become common during paving season in the Upper Midwest. In recent weeks, the BBB has received "numerous reports" from consumers who been victims of asphalt scams, the bureau said in a press release.

In most reported cases, the job is based on a verbal contract, with no recorded proof of terms. Customers are usually not given any contact information aside from a phone number. When they call to complain about the sub-par job or the increase in the quoted price, their calls go unanswered.

All Minnesotans, particularly those with unpaved or older driveways, should be aware of asphalt scams and know the warning signs, the BBB said.

"Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project," the bureau said. "Rarely will they have leftover material."

To avoid asphalt scams, the BBB advises that customers beware of high-pressure sales, deals that seem too good to be true, unmarked trucks, cash-only sales and transactions without a written contract.

"A professionally designed and properly constructed asphalt pavement will last for many years, and reputable contractors will stand behind their work," the BBB said. "Consumers are often safer dealing with a contractor who has roots in the community."

For more information on asphalt scams, visit bbb.org.

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