Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin warns consumers to beware of asphalt paving scams. Unscrupulous contractors may offer bargain prices if the consumer pays in advance, but often leave the job unfinished or perform subpar work.

BBB has seen a spike in inquiries on paving contractors. Since January, BBB has provided more than 2,300 business reviews to consumers on local paving companies.

When considering hiring a paving contractor, get references, check with BBB at bbb.org and verify that the contractor is in compliance with all local licensing, bonding and insuring requirements. Make sure all promises are put into writing and do not sign any agreement without understanding it.

BBB offers these red flags to look for in a paving service scam:

The contractor says there are leftover materials from another job. Scammers use this as a ploy to explain how they can provide you with a huge discount over the normal price. The catch is that they will ask you to pay everything up front. The materials are reported to be inferior and the work ends up shoddy.

Pressure to make a quick decision. Trustworthy contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for days or weeks. It should specify in detail the work to be performed and the total price.

You are asked to pay in cash. A trustworthy, honest contractor will take checks or credit cards.

The company is from out of state. Look at the company vehicle. If it is unmarked or has an out-of-state license plate, be cautious. Even if the representative claims to have a local phone number, scammers can easily purchase disposable cell phones to provide a local number in the area they are soliciting.

If you suspect that you are dealing with a paving scammer, you are advised to file a complaint with the BBB at bbb.org and contact your local police department immediately.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.

About Better Business Bureau:

BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.