Scammers Pounding the Pavement | VideoJenny Castro | 6/8/2012
Dustin and Heather Deaton have seen how North Dakota has changed over the years. Now they have a strong feel for the negative effects of the booming population.
"Just being born and raised here, you don`t think that people would do this to you and to have someone do this to you it really hurts,” Heather said.
Last summer, the couple was approached by a door to door salesman who had extra paving material from another job. After they asked around on pricing, it seemed legitimate. But from the beginning it didn`t quite match up.
"In this economy, there`s no reason why we should have to go door to door selling our product. My phone rings off the wall for work. We`re booked up for the season, so any legitimate company has no reason to go door to door,” said Jack Sawyer, who owns a local asphalt paving company.
Once the paving is done, it looks like a nice job. Until it starts falling apart, which is usually within a year.
“There are tricks of making the edges look thicker and in the center it`ll be an inch thick. And to the common person they`re going to think, `Oh that`s a beautiful driveway,`" said Sawyer.
"I mean we`re going to have to spend even more money to get this re-done. And we`ve tried calling their company five, six, eight, ten times and we`ve never gotten an answer or return phone call from them; or their number`s been disconnected,” said Heather and Dustin.
The Deatons have been approached several more times this summer at their door with other salesmen asking to re-do the job or put sealant on it. Unfortunately, many of their neighbors had the same job done on their driveways too.
"We`re so used to helping each other out that we don`t think people will take advantage of each other and it`s happening in our own community,” said Heather.
"You figure if they don`t live in North Dakota, you`ve got no recourse if your job goes bad,” said Sawyer.
With so many residents looking for this sort of professional work, it`s easy to just overlook the details.
Another way to spot a scammer is if they ask for cash or a check made out to a person rather than a company. You should also make sure to get a receipt on any work done, find out if they have a local office and visit it yourself.