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Nottinghamshire Police issue warning over spare asphalt scam as multiple businesses targeted

Police are encouraging businesses to be wary of a scam in which “leftover” asphalt is offered to them for free.

A number of Nottinghamshire businesses — including farmers — have been approached by scammers who say they work for a construction company and are conducting road works in the local area.

The scammers have then offered the businesses leftover asphalt for driveways and potholes, and claimed it is free.

Police have issued a warning over a 'leftover' asphalt scam.
Police have issued a warning over a 'leftover' asphalt scam.

Some business owners accepted the offer but were left shocked when they later received a phone call billing them for the work. When they refused to pay, they were threatened with violence.

PC Kelly Carlile, of Nottinghamshire Police, said the majority of the reports had been from the Rushcliffe area but urged all businesses to be vigilant.

She said: “We’ve had a number of reports in recent weeks. In one case, the business owner felt so threatened they paid £9,500 before reporting the matter to the police.

“Elsewhere, the owner of a car dealership also said he’d accepted the offer of free tarmac and was later billed £10,000. When he refused to pay, a male caller threatened to burn his business down.

“In another reported incident, a family-run farm accepted the offer of free tarmac and were later billed £500. When they refused to pay, the caller threatened to fight them — prompting the family to contact the police and install CCTV at their home.”

PC Carlile said all the incidents were being investigated and urged anyone with information about those behind the scam to come forward.

She added: “These reports are concerning and we are doing everything we can to identify those involved in the scam.

“In the meantime, we are encouraging businesses to stay vigilant and ensure they exercise caution when dealing with unsolicited offers such as free tarmac.

“Whilst we haven’t received any reports from residents, they too should be vigilant as similar scams to this have occurred elsewhere in the UK in residential areas.”

Businesses and individuals are advised to take the following precautions:

• Verify caller identity: Always verify the identity of the caller. Contact firms directly using official contact details to confirm the legitimacy of any offers.

• Do not share information: Avoid sharing personal or business information with unknown callers.

• Do not accept unsolicited offers: Be wary of unsolicited offers for services, especially if they seem too good to be true.

• Report suspicious activity: If you receive such a call or are approached with this offer, report it to the local authorities or trading standards.

• Stay informed: Keep updated with official communications from local authorities regarding such scams.

Businesses can report suspicious calls to Nottinghamshire Police online via the force website, or by calling 101.

Alternatively contact Trading Standards by calling 0300 500 8080.

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