A Sioux Falls church lost $16,000 to scammers posing as a traveling asphalt company.
According to the Better Business Bureau, a man claiming to be Joseph Stanley with A & M Asphalt Roads and Parking Lots told the church he had asphalt left over from a job, and could sell it for a discount.
Stanley, his crew and his partner, Arthur Miller, paved a small portion of the church's lot, and then said they needed to be paid in order to get more asphalt to finish the job.
They requested two $8,000 checks in their names.
The BBB said Stanley and Miller cashed the checks at the church's bank instead of buying more asphalt, and that they did not go back to the church.
The bank told the church that Stanley showed a New Hampshire driver's license. The BBB said Stanley has also been involved in similar scams in that state.
The BBB said summer is prime time for scammers like Stanley and Miller. If a deal seems too good to be true, the BBB recommends to ask the company to submit the offer to the bureau for assessment.
It also recommends to ask for a proposal complete with a description of services, including costs of materials and labor, and start and completion dates. The proposal should also include the business' location, a copy of its insurance certificate, licensing and its telephone number.
The BBB of Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa can be contacted at 800-649-6814.