That leftover gravel or extra asphalt isn’t free, no matter what the workman tells you.

Who Is It Targeting: Residents and homeowners

What Is It: A scam in which someone offers you something for free then presents you with a bill.

What Are They After: Law enforcement in one Southeastern US county have warned citizens of home repair scams that begin with a free offer. In one specific instance, the scam involved a work crew with some gravel. They told the homeowner it was left over from a contracted project, and that they would happily spread it on the homeowner’s driveway for free. After they were finished, though, they presented the homeowner with a bill for $4,000 and demanded payment.

Fortunately, the homeowner’s son was a police officer. He called his son, who arrived to address the matter. The crew left without further demand for payment.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Remember, there’s no such thing as “leftover” materials that someone doesn’t have to pay for. Accepting a generous offer like this one—even if it’s genuine on the part of the workcrew—can be considered theft.
  • Any workman or repairman who agrees to do work for you should provide you with a signed price quote up front.
  • Beware of another tactic: some of these scams have also included attempts to enter your home in order to steal money or goods.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Bladen Journal.

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