Police Urge Residents to Watch Out for Paving Scam

Londonderry residents are urged to be on the lookout during the fall season for paving scams conducted by transient workers soliciting jobs door to door.

“We have a huge scamming problem in town,” said Det. Chris Olson, who has investigated a number of complaints. “They definitely target older people.”

The scam unfolds with crews soliciting a homeowner, explaining they are completing a paving job in the area and have leftover asphalt they could use to repave their driveway at a reduced cost.

After the homeowner agrees and pays for the work, crews begin, then report back that they have run out of asphalt.

“Some will come back and say they lost the check the homeowner gave them,” Olson said. “There was one woman who was told the check flew out the window. She was asked to write another check, and they cashed both before she realized what happened.”

In addition to paving, Olson has received reports about scams where crews say they will rake snow off a homeowner’s roof for $100 per hour, promising the work will take an hour to complete.

When they finish, they demand $800, arguing there were eight people completing the work.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult for police to make arrests for charges stemming from such incidents.

“In the case where they cashed two checks, we were able to make an arrest. But where people enter into a verbal agreement, it’s difficult to prosecute,” said Olson, who frequently speaks at the Senior Center to inform elderly residents about scams they should be aware of.

Olson advises that residents don’t work with pavers who solicit their home.

“Don’t seek out pavers until you need something done. Go online or in the phone book and find a reputable paving company,” he said.

Residents who do not have access to the internet may also inquire about a business with the New Hampshire Better Business Bureau at 224-1991.

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