Beware of transient paving companies

On July 10 the Clay County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a paving company offering “leftover asphalt” to rural Clay County residents. The companies offered the resident asphalt for their driveways and push for a quick deal by pretending the asphalt is somehow leftover leading the homeowner to believe they will get a better deal by acting fast.

Factually, the asphalt is not “leftover” and the resident has a legal right to change their minds within three days, whether or not the work has been completed. Furthermore, the vendor is obligated to give proper written notification of the right to cancel and the vendor may not encourage the customer to waive the right to cancel.

A rural Clay County resident did enter into an agreement with a paving company from Texas doing business as B&S Paving. The vendor agreed to pave a driveway for $50,000. The resident became suspicious when the vendor asked for multiple checks to be written to different names and for various amounts. The vendor indicated by doing this they could avoid excise taxes.

This was reported to the Clay County Sheriff. Investigation began and a deputy located and identified the transient vendors in Yankton. Even though approximately $20,000 had been paid to the vendors on July 10 when some of the work was completed, a deputy was able to meet with the resident and vendor on July 11 in Clay County and recovered the payment.

The customer was advised of the right to cancel and at that time, the vendor immediately left the area without payment or completion of the job. Later, B&S Paving surrendered their temporary South Dakota Excise tax license to the Department of Revenue.

In this case, the Clay County resident did not lose any money to the scammers. Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe encourages rural residents to be watchful for transient vendors such as pavers, roofing companies, painters or others who offer work done with surplus materials with no time for cancellation. Sheriff Howe also encourages citizens to be aware of attempts to scam elderly neighbors or family members and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

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