JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - It's a common springtime scam: An out-of-town asphalt crew rolls through your neighborhood, knocks on your door and promises to repair your driveway at an incredible price.
Too often the work is substandard. Moments after you pay, the crew is long gone.
The Missouri Attorney General's office issued a warning last week following the guilty plea of Terry Wayne Phelps.
Phelps pleaded guilty in Missouri to financial exploitation of the elderly, stealing by deceit and unlawful merchandising practices for his role in asphalt paving scams.
In one case, the AG's office reports Phelps defrauded a rural Missouri man who paid $56,000 for substandard paving work.
Phelps has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for financial exploitation of the elderly, 10 years for stealing by deceit and seven years for unlawful merchandising practices.
AG Chris Koster suggests consumers should follow some simple rules before hiring any contractor to do home repairs:
1) Do not pay for the work upfront
2) Beware of contractors who solicit door-to-door
3) Get several recommendations from friends, neighbors and past customers
4) Check references
5) Get at least three written estimates