Alaskans were warned Monday of a door-to-door scam in which paving services are offered at an extremely low rate, only to have the prices hiked after a subpar job is completed.
In the last few days, three complaints have been reported to the Alaska Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit, said assistant attorney general Cynthia Franklin. Two came from the Interior community of North Pole; one was from Anchorage.
Scammers come to a homeowner's door falsely representing themselves as a local business. They claim to have leftover materials from another job, and offer to pave the driveway for $2,000 or $2,500.
They complete the job, but it's subpar, Franklin said. In one case, a person's driveway wasn't properly sealed and the pavement stuck to their tires, Franklin said.
After the work is done, the scammers come back and say the cost ended up being much higher – around three times their initial quote.
In Alaska, all door-to-door sales are subject to a law that allows the buyer to get their money back within five business days of the sale. A written notice is required explaining this to customers.
"We call it the five day cooling off period," said Franklin. Anyone contacted with an offer that seems too good to be true should ask for this written notice, and not agree to the deal, the Consumer Protection Unit says.
Any homeowners who give scammers their money will likely have a hard time recouping losses, as the scammers are not believed to be Alaska residents.
Similar scams happen every summer, Franklin said.