PELHAM MANOR, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – They had the equipment, the supplies, and the sales pitch – but police in Westchester County say it added up to a potential scam.
Now they’re warning homeowners to be wary.
In a Pelham Manor neighborhood, where any number of driveways could use a fresh layer of asphalt, police found unlicensed contractors offering on the spot service for a rock-bottom price.
“They show up at your door and say ‘I’m paving in your neighborhood, I have some extra asphalt and material, I can use them on your driveway and give you a deal,’” Westchester Consumer Affairs Director Jim Maisano said.
Maisano says sometimes the rogue pavers do half the job before demanding more money, or rush through the work before rushing off.
“Nothing’s done right, it’s a poor job, won’t even last a year. So it’s a scam.”
Variations of the scam may offer masonry repair or chimney cleaning.
Homeowners complain there’s always something to fix and the fixes are usually expensive, so it’s easy to understand why people might be tempted.
“No question it works. They wouldn’t be doing the scam if it didn’t work,” Maisano added.
Homeowner Eddie Rivera says he always checks before hiring.
“Recommendations and thorough research. Think about it, that’s a smart thing to do,” the Pelham Manor resident said.
Police say the men lacked licenses, insurance, and didn’t offer a written contract. Westchester requires all three.
“You really have to do your homework hiring a contractor, but of course having a license should be the number one thing you check,” Maisano warned.
Authorities are urging homeowners: don’t be tempted by someone offering a quick and cheap fix.