The return of warm weather can also mean the return of the "age-old driveway scam," according to McCracken County Sheriff Matt Carter.

The sheriff said his department has been receiving reports of the scam being attempted in and around McCracken County.

People contact homeowners, often elderly, indicating they have "extra" asphalt from a previous job and offer to demonstrate by applying some to the homeowners' driveway for free. After that, the scammers will apply more product and then claim the homeowner "owes" for the additional application.

"Please help us by making sure your loved ones and neighbors are aware of these tactics which hopefully will prevent them from falling victim," Carter said.

Some warning signs to be aware of are:

• Selling door-to-door. Reputable asphalt contractors will rarely, if ever, sell their product door-to-door.

• The "leftover" claim. Professional asphalt contractors will know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely will they have leftover material.

• Pushing for a quick decision. Reputable contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for days or weeks. If the great deal they are offering you today is not available tomorrow or next week, it is probably a scam. Never hire someone on the spot. Always check references.

• Lack of contract. Insist on a written contract specifying in detail, the work to be performed and the agreed total price - not the price per square foot. Chances are unless you measured the area to be paved you do not know what the total cost will be.

• Cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don't require cash-only terms.

• Deals "too good to be true." If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of the work will also be quite low.

• Using an unmarked truck. Often the trucks they travel in are unmarked or they have an out-of-town address and phone number. A little research will reveal that they have no permanent address and the phone number is often an answering machine.

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