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The man comes up to the door, and he says, "We have been laying tar at Harrison Company, and we are going to have some tar left over.  I usually discount the left over tar to someone in the area who might need to redo their driveway.  I noticed that your driveway has some cracks in it.  I would be happy to give you the tar at a very reduced price."

Sounds good, right?


When this clown is done with you, you will pay up to ten times what the tar was worth.  Also, the guy may not show with the tar after taking away your check, which he will cash at the bank at once.  Later, try to find him.  Ha Ha.

1.  Harrison Company was about 6 miles away, and there were at least 500 driveways closer which needed fixing.  In particular, an industrial area near Harrison had horrible holes in the driveways into truck loading areas.

2.  The guy's truck was brand new and didn't have a bit of tar on it.

3.  The guy and his pal were spotless, and they had new baseball caps.

4.  The guy would not take no for an answer.  The victim was 86 years old.

5.  This was the second guy who had tried this on the victim in recent times.  The first was a rip off.

6.  Unlike cement, excess tar can be re-processed.

7.  Any boss or forman who can be away from the job to go soliciting victims will HAVE to charge more than the tar is worth in order to cover the other forman he has to hire in his absence.

8.  This is an old scam, well worn, and it works.  It sounds like the tar is free.

ALL of these offers are rip offs.  

The vast majority of them never laid a bit of tar at "Harrison Company."  They start the day off with no truck of tar.  They go around the neighborhood collecting deals, and then SOME of them send a load of tar out via another company which is desperate and mixes lousy topping for your driveway.

What to do:

1.  Go right to the phone and call the company they claim to be laying tar for.  If they really were laying tar, and IF they are local, then you may proceed VERY cautiously.  Pay half down, get a contract, and be there when they lay it.  If the job is lousy, don't pay the balance.

2.  If "Harrison" has not seen a tar truck in two years, call the police and tell them about the scam-- get the guy's licence plate number by talking about your driveway and walking around his truck.  He will park it so you can't see the license and back out of your driveway when leaving.  It will probably be from out of state.

3.  Run them off-- NO exceptions, unless you have an arrangement with your spouse for one of you to detain them while the other calls the police.  In that case, see if you can detain them long enough for the police to come and question them.

4.  If you want your driveway tarred, call around to friends until you find someone who did their driveway with a local known contractor.  Shop until you find someone who does good work.  If you are willing to take end of run tar, let the legitimate contractor know that.  He will remember you, and when he has a true over-run, he will put it on your driveway in several treatments.  You may get a real bargain after all from a real tar man--  the one with a tarred truck and dirty clothes.

This applies to driveway topping also.  The guys who drive up and offer to "top" your driveway are out of town Gipsies.  They are ALL crooks, and the scam is only about 65 years old.  The topping will wash off in the next rain storm.  Trust me--  Buy locally from known dealers.

Do you have old folks who are easy touches for these crooks?  Have a sign made for them, and post it on the wall next to the front door.  It should read about like this:

Our counsel on retainer:
Messrs. Smith and Wesson