Contractors State License Board Issues Slurry Seal Scam Warning
Board warns consumers to watch out for bogus maintenance workers
SACRAMENTO —The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) has been alerted by Vacaville city officials to a potential pavement scam operating in that city, and possibly beyond.
The City of Vacaville's Maintenance Division received word that four Latino males approached an elderly neighbor on Alonzo Road and offered to slurry seal the woman's driveway. The suspects indicated they had leftover slurry seal material (a thin clay and cement mixture) from a job that they had done for the city, and could offer a good deal. The City of Vacaville does not have a current slurry seal maintenance project under way at this time.
When the woman's daughter intervened and asked to see the workers' business license, they did not produce one and left. The men were driving two white, unmarked trucks. Vacaville Police believe this is a scam, and anyone who paid for work or was approached by these men should contact the Contractors State License Board's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) Northern California office at (916) 255-2924. Vacaville residents who have had contact with these men should contact SWIFT and the Vacaville Police Department at (707) 449-5200.
CSLB recommends the following actions if approached by these suspects or anyone offering a deal that sounds too good to be true:
- Ask to see the contractor's pocket license card, and a photo ID to make sure it is the same person.
- Verify the contractor's license at www.cslb.ca.gov or 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).
- Don't rush into repairs, no matter how badly they're needed.
- Don't pay more than 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less, as a down payment. About two dozen contractors noted on the CSLB Web site have special bonds that protect consumers.
- Don't pay in cash.
- Get at least three bids, check references, and get a written contract.
In 2009, CSLB, which operates under the umbrella of the Department of Consumer Affairs, marks its 80th anniversary of protecting consumers by regulating California's construction industry. Today CSLB licenses about 315,000 contractors. In any given year, complaints are filed against only 3% of licensed contractors. In fiscal year 2008-09, CSLB helped consumers recover $36 million in ordered restitution.
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