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Angie's List: Exposing Extra Materials Scams

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Extra of something can be a good thing, as in extra time to complete a project or extra credit.

But when a contractor shows up at your house with extra materials left over from a nearby job and says he can make you a great deal, you should avoid the offer.

Maryanna Phillips was out in her yard when two workers from an asphalt company pulled up. They said they could sealcoat her cracked driveway for $300 with materials left over from a job down the street.

"They made me feel bad," said Phillips. "The lady had been in a wreck. She had stitches all over her head and I'm like 'Go, just do it.'"

The job was sloppy. Mayanna's decorative stone and yard ornaments were sprayed with sealant. Even worse, the excess asphalt was dumped on the street and splashed onto her car causing more than $1,200 in damage. She immediately tried to stop payment on her check, but it was too late.

"I know better than this," she said. "I used to take calls all day, every day with people who got scammed just like this. Like I said, I know better. She played on my heart."

"It's sad, but there are unscrupulous contractors out there, so you as a consumer need to beware," said Angie Hicks with Angie's List. "Be cautious of anyone that comes to your home and tries to encourage you to take a deal on the spot. A deal today should be a deal tomorrow."

"I get calls all the time, 'I had this guy over here, there's sealant all over the house,' and unfortunately I have to tell people there's no way to get it off. You have to start replacing things," said Joseph Sullivan, an asphalt professional.

Maryanna has her guard back up, but says if she can get scammed, anyone can.

"Unfortunately, we live in a world where you just can't really trust a lot of people, so you need to check people out before you hire 'em out to do a job," she said.

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