If you need work around your house such as a driveway that needs paving, these so called "gypsy pavers" may show up at your door, offer to do the work, and ask for money. But these people who pose as contractors often never return leaving you with a big mess.
"A lot of money has been taken out of our area much to the law enforcement's and the Better Business Bureau's chagrin," says Nan Campbell with the Better Business Bureau.
She says each year area residents are scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by gypsy pavers. People who pose as contractors offering to do work like paving and repairing driveways or roofs without following through. Residents living in rural areas are often prime targets. "People out in the country tend to be the most vulnerable because they're out away from the city and they have long driveways usually."
The scam's been around for years but continues to be a problem. Campbell says these scam artists will go door to door, offering to do jobs relatively cheap. They may say they have leftover materials and often ask for money up front.
"That's usually a lure when or if they do the work it's usually very inferior work and not done properly," says Campbell.
Jim Davis with Allen Butler construction says asking for money up front should be a red flag. And most construction companies do not have enough leftover materials to do other jobs. "Nobody's gonna have that much left over materials to go in to do a project for somebody else," says Davis.
Davis says the most important thing you should do when contracting work is draw up a very specific written contract. "I'd recommend the square footage or work they do is agreed upon by both people and singed and not paid for until the work is complete."
Unfortunately, if you are a victim of this scam, there's very little chance that you'll get any money back. If you're unsure about the legitimacy of any company, you can call the Better Business Bureau. You can reach them at (806) 763-0459.