DLLR Advises Consumers of Driveway Paving Scams


(BALTIMORE, 9/10/10) - The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and the Howard County Office of Consumer Affairs are warning homeowners seeking driveway improvements of a scam. Unlicensed traveling contractors may attempt to defraud homeowners by offering inexpensive asphalt coating or sealing services, then merely cover the driveway with oil mixed with water or black paint, or other inferior substances that quickly crumble or wash away with the next rainstorm.

"Before hiring or paying anyone, a homeowner should contact the Maryland Home Improvement Commission to check the license status of the individual and company," DLLR Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez said. "We thank the Howard County Office of Consumer Affairs for working with us to increase awareness of this important consumer-protection issue."

The Maryland Home Improvement Commission, part of DLLR's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, is currently investigating an increasing number of complaints from Maryland homeowners victimized by this scam. Arrest warrants have been issued against a number of fraudulent paving practitioners for acting as unlicensed contractors and related charges. Similar scams are being perpetrated in Delaware and Pennsylvania, so homeowners are advised to be cautious.

Consumers and businesses are reminded that they can check whether someone is licensed to perform any service in Maryland regulated by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing by visiting our website. Consumer advice is available from the Maryland Home Improvement Commission webpage.

Howard County Consumer Affairs Administrator Rebecca Bowman adds that all solicitors who go door-to-door in Howard County must first obtain a solicitor license from the Office of Consumer Affairs. "Consumers should ask to see the solicitor's registration card and refuse to do business with anyone who does not have one," Bowman advises. Questions and complaints about solicitors and other consumer issues can be directed to the Office of Consumer Affairs at 410.313.6420 and additional information is available on the Howard County website.