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Tue March 31, 2009
Scammers targeting elderly residents
By Scott Harvey
Hopkins County – Northeast Texas residents are to be alert of a hot mix asphalt scam that has reemerged in the region.
Scammers are going door-to-door in Hopkins County telling residents they've just completed an asphalt project, and then will purposely quote a low price for the remaining hot mix. After the project is complete, scammers will demand thousands more dollars for the project than originally sought.
The project failed to fool one resident.
According to Hopkins County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ricky Morgan, officers Monday arrested and charged Phillip Boswell with criminal mischief. An elderly victim in the northeast portion of the county called authorities after Boswell initially quoted his project at $1,000 before asking for $6,500 after completion. When the man refused to pay, Boswell attempted to remove the asphalt laid.
According to Deputy Morgan, officials arrested another man last year for performing the same crime.
The scammers are reportedly working out of Texarkana, and since their last failed attempt in the county, have even changed the name of their fake company. Formerly known as Black Top Paving Construction, they are now calling themselves Precision Paving. Morgan says the scammers seem to be preying on the elderly and urges area residents to be cautious, quoting the old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."