Attorney General Madigan Alerts Champaign Area to Home Repair Scams

Attorney General Warns Champaign-Urbana Residents to Reports of Driveway Paving Scam

Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—October 24, 2014. Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued an alert after receiving reports of con artists traveling in the Champaign-Urbana area scamming homeowners out of thousands of dollars for a supposed asphalt-paving service.

Madigan’s office has received reports of con artists traveling the area door to door soliciting work to pave driveways and sidewalks. The scammers ask homeowners to pay large sums of money up front, after which the solicitors flee the area and never complete the promised work.

“Any time someone solicits repair work by going door to door and asks for large sums of money upfront, it’s a clear sign that something is wrong,” Madigan said. “I encourage anyone who has received such a solicitation to call my office and file a complaint. Do not work with these individuals.”

Area residents should beware of solicitors who come to the door offering a special discount on a job using leftover asphalt in their truck. Most of these scam solicitors are driving vehicles with out-of-state license plates and do not have official signage on their trucks to indicate the business they represent. Residents who have concerns about a solicitation or feel threatened by a solicitor should turn them away, lock their door and contact the local police department.

Madigan urged homeowners to always ask questions before signing any agreements and to exercise caution when hiring contractors. To avoid being cheated, she suggests homeowners:

Obtain written estimates from multiple contractors and get in writing the terms of the contract;

Seek referrals from people they trust;

Ask to see licenses and permits; and

Never pay in full until the work is completed and do not pay cash.

Madigan also reminded homeowners that for work costing more than $1,000, Illinois law requires contractors to furnish clients with written contracts. Additionally, contractors must carry insurance for property damage, injury and improper repair.

To determine if a home repair company has received complaints or to report a home repair scam, consumers should contact Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at
(800) 243-0618.