Illinois Attorney General warning residents of asphalt-paving scam

CHICAGO - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued an alert to Champaign-Urbana residents after receiving several reports of homeowners being scammed out of thousands of dollars for a supposed asphalt-paving service.

Madigan's office says several reports have been filed of individuals traveling door-to-door, soliciting work to pave driveways and sidewalks.  The reports say these individuals ask homeowners to pay large sums of money up front, after which the solicitors leave the area and never complete the promised work.

Madigan is warning Champaign-Urbana residents to beware of solicitors who come to the door and offer a special discount on paving work using leftover asphalt in their truck.  Most of these solicitors are driving vehicles with out-of-state license plates, and do not have any markings on their vehicle to incidate which business they represent.  Madigan's office says anyone who has concerns about a solicitation or feel threatened by a solicitor should turn them away, lock their door, and call local law enforcement.

Madigan is encouraging homeowners to exercise caution when hiring contractors, and to ask questions before signing any agreements.  In order to avoid being cheated, Madigan is suggesting that homeowners take the following steps:

- Obtain written estimates from multiple contractors, and get the terms of the contract in writing.
- Seek referrals from people they trust.
- Ask to see licenses and permits.
- Never pay in full until the work is completed, and do not pay cash.

Madigan also say that under Illinois law, contractors must furnish clients with written contracts for work costing more than $1,000, and those contractors must also carry insurance for injury, improper repair, and property damage.

If you would like to report a home repair scam, or to check if a home repair company has received complaints, call Madigan's Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 243-0618.
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