9 tips to avoid a paving scam

--Be wary of high pressure sales tactics and work offered without a contract with statements like "I have a load of asphalt in my truck; I can give a good deal" or "I am in the neighborhood paving and have enough material left to do another home's driveway"

--Be wary of offers that claim the work must be done the same day (This violates the MD door-to-door Sales Act)

--Think twice before doing business without a contractor with out-of-state plates. Fly-by-night contractors often come from out of state

--Always ask if a contractor is licensed. Their Maryland Home Improvement Commission license number should be posted on their vehicles and contracts. Confirm with MHIC that their license is real and valid

--Ask MHIC if complaints have been filed against a contractor

--Ask for references in your area. Call those references and ask about the quality and cost of the work they had performed

--Never pay more than 1/3 of cost as a deposit and do not pay ANY money until you have a signed contract

--Take your time! Home improvement work should not be an impulse purchase

--If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

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