Asphalt paving scam back in the Heartland

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A scam that starts with a knock at your door is making a comeback in the Heartland.

Sergeant Sean Adams with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Office said they've gotten half a dozen reports of scammers going door to door offering to pave a person's driveway with asphalt for half price.

A knock came on Greg Franklin's door at his home in Jackson this week.

It was a man who told him he was working a job across town, had extra asphalt left over and offered to pave Franklin's gravel driveway for half price.

"He said it would cost about $4,000 but they'd offer it to me for about $1,900," Franklin said. "But just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's a good deal."
As his conversation with the man carried on, Franklin says he noticed more and more red flags.

"I asked him where the other job was so I could take a look at it and he never really told me an address," Franklin said. "He didn't have a business card, didn't have a phone number. His truck was really. If you're laying asphalt, you're going to have dirt on your truck."

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Sgt. Adams says this type of scam has been around for decades.

"I've been with the sheriff's office for 18 years and it's been around since I've been employed here," he said. "It can happen anytime during the warm months of the year."

According to a Heartland News report from 2008, six workers with a paving company were arrested after pulling a similar scam on elderly homeowners in Stoddard County.

Phyllis Williams was one of them and at the time said the work was supposed to cost $400.

"He said it'll be $2,600 and $325 if you want us to seal it. That's when I said no," Williams said.

Back in Cape Girardeau County, Sgt. Adams said they caught several paving scammers a few years ago, and they typically come from other states.

"We've been able to get the people their money back after making contact with the people who did the job," Adams said. "It could be it's a fraud, or theft by deceit, and a lot of times their vehicles are not up to MoDOT standards."

Franklin, who also owns a local business called Cheesecake Ninja, did not take the bait, and he is not alone.

Shannon Hotop who lives in Perryville was also approached at his home by two men in a truck from Indiana offering to pave his driveway with asphalt.

"I didn't go for it because I do highway paving construction and what he was trying to sell made no sense," Hotop said.

If Franklin redoes his driveway he says he would do some research and reach out to a local paving company instead.

"Whenever you want something done like asphalting for your driveway, they're not just going to randomly drive up to your houses and say they have 'extra material,'" he said.

Local law enforcement is also asking you to call them if someone offers to do asphalt work at your home. Police suggest taking down the license plate, a description of the vehicle and descriptions of the people who were there.

Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved.