As the weather warms, the Office of the Maine Attorney
General warns consumers to watch out for paving scams. The Office of the Attorney General has
received many reports about too-good-to-be-true paving scams that end up
costing consumers hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. 

How the scam works

A seller of paving services comes to a consumer’s door,
claiming that they just finished a nearby paving job. They offer to pave the consumer’s driveway at
a discounted rate using leftover asphalt. The paver then gives a low estimate—or no estimate at all—and begins
paving the driveway without providing a contract. After the paver completes the
paving job, they will demand a much larger payment than the original
estimate. In some cases, the paver will
have paved a larger-than-agreed upon area to justify the increased price. In other cases, the paver might use
intimidation or threats to get consumers to agree to the increased price. After the paver leaves, the consumer often notices
that the paving job is incomplete or shoddy. The consumer has now lost thousands of dollars and ended up with a bad
paving job.

What consumers should look for

Not all paving scams will be the same. Here are some red flags a consumer should
watch out for that indicate a scam:

• Unlicensed pavers: Maine law requires a door-to-door seller
of home repair services to be licensed by the State and carry that license if
he does not have a permanent place of business in the municipality where he is
soliciting work. Ask whether the paver
has a permanent place of business in your municipality. If the answer is no, ask to see the license. You
can verify the license online at

• A story about leftover asphalt from a nearby job: Reputable
sellers of paving services will be careful to measure out the right amount of
asphalt for a job and, due to the way hot asphalt is laid and compacted,
leftover asphalt is usually not immediately useable.

• Too-good-to-be-true pricing: Be careful if an estimate for a
job seems much lower than expected.

• Unclear estimate: Watch out for pavers who refuse to give a
clear estimate or measure out the site in advance. They are trying to avoid
giving a firm price so they can strong-arm you into paying a higher price after
the job is complete.

• No contract: Make
sure to sign a contract before the paver begins any work. Maine law requires door-to-door sellers of
paving services to provide a written contract with specific provisions,
including the seller’s name and address, the date, the terms of sale, a
three-day notice period, signatures of the seller and the consumer, and a
statement that work cannot be started until the three-day notice period has
expired. A scammer will often refuse to
give a contract before beginning work so you don’t know your rights and can’t
prove the original estimate.

• Pavers who want to begin work immediately: Maine law
requires sellers of door-to-door paving services to wait three days after
solicitation to begin a paving job. This waiting period is to ensure that
consumers avoid a high-pressure sales situation. If a paver wants to begin work
right away, they may be trying to make sure you feel pressured to agree to the

• Asking for cash payments: Scammers often prefer cash payments
so any money tied to their illegal transactions can’t be traced or recovered. Some
scammers will accept a cash payment and then flee before beginning any work.


Scammed? What consumers can do

Know your rights: Consumers are protected from paving scams by the following laws: The
Consumer Solicitation Sales Act, The Transient Sales Act, and The Door-to-Door
Seller of Home Repair Services Act. The
Maine Consumer Law Guide gives more information about how these laws protect
Maine consumers from predatory pavers.

Cancel your contract: If a door-to-door seller of paving
services began the paving job within three days of the solicitation, you can
cancel the contract even if the job has been completed. You must cancel in
writing and send your written cancellation to the seller. Once you have
cancelled within the three-day period, you are under no obligation to pay for
any work, even work that was already done.

Contact law enforcement: Call your local police department. Then
file a complaint online with the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer
Protection division at
 You can also call the Consumer
Protection Division to file a complaint Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to
noon at 207-626-8849, or 800-436-2131.

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