Alleged scam victim wants to warn others

RILEY TWP., Ohio - Every year, police warn of so called "travelers" scams. Out oftown families pass through the Tri-State performing cut rate workthen leave town.

Paul Harville says he fell for it.

He built his home in 1995 and always had a gravel driveway.

In May, he says someone representing "Pave Rite" knocked on hisdoor. The flyer says "our men and equipment will be in your areafor least the next 7 days, DON'T DELAY".

The flyer lists a local address in Middletown.

Harville said he was tired of dust on his cars, and agreed tohave the company pave his driveway, paying the contractor $14,350cash for the work. He says the contractor promised 2 1/2 inches ofasphalt.

Harville says he went to the bank and stopped to buy the crewlunch.

"I went to the store, got them pop, and went and got them pizzaand went and got them steak sandwiches," Harville said.

He says the crew finished the same day and he immediately foundproblems with low spots. He says he was promised someone wouldreturn to make it right.

"It seems like the further they went, the thinner they got,"quipped Harville.

Two months later, grass is growing in many places on thedriveway.

"Not only do I have to mow my grass, I have mow my driveway,"Harville joked.

Where the driveway meets his pole barn, the door creates a tightseal on the left side, while there's a large gap on the rightside.

"The cats can actually crawl underneath," he said.

Harville says he's called all the numbers he has for the companyand they've never returned.

He went to the Middletown address listed on the flyer, and saysnot only does the address not exist, the only thing near by is anapartment building.

Cincinnati Police Sergeant Eric Franz, president of the OhioCrime Prevention Association, says many people fall victim to thesetype of scams every year.

Franz suggests doing your homework before you pay anyonemoney.

"Check with the better business bureau, make sure they'relegitimate, make sure they can prove they're local," Franz said. "Asimple thing you can do is look at their license plate on the carthat's in the driveway and make sure it has an Ohio licensesplate."

Harville says the "Pave Rite" truck had Texas tags.

"You're in control here, there are thousands of contractors inthis city who will do work for you," said Franz.

9 News called "Pave Rite", the man who answered the phone denieddoing work in Cincinnati and said he knew nothing of the Middletownaddress.

Harville reported his experience to the Ohio Attorney General'sOffice and called the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

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