Columnist Isn't Tricked by Driveway Paving Con
He said: "I have some leftover asphalt." She says: "A four-letter came to mind when I heard that."
Most of us have heard of the people who, as they drive by your house, “notice your roof is not in good shape and needs to be replaced immediately.” Sometimes they actually go up and “check it out.” And they just happen to have everything needed to make the repair or need some money to get the supplies.
Then there’s the “I have some leftover asphalt from a job I finished nearby” line.
This happened to me a little over a week ago, as I was weeding my flower bed near the road.
A white pickup truck stopped and, thinking someone was in need of directions, I walked toward him, keeping a safe distance. He wasn’t lost. He was trying to get rid of “leftover asphalt.”
But…funny…the truck bed is empty. There’s no asphalt. No tools. And no work clothes—the clothes he is wearing are mighty clean for having just finished a driveway.
As I told a friend of mine, “Do I have ‘dum-dum’ written on my forehead?”
So...a four-letter came to mind—SCAM.
I told him we are not permitted to pave our driveway. We can only pave the part that is done—the 15-foot easement.
He thought I was giving HIM a line! Imagine that!
I told him he was welcome to call the State Bureau of Forestry and check—they told us the macadam would kill the butternut tree and, since the tree is registered with the state, we must abide by what they say.
I don’t know if he believed me or not, but he huffed and went on to try his scam on the next-door neighbors. He failed there, too.
Then, it was time to try the neighbors behind us.
By this time, I had called the Upper Milford Township office and was told no one has a permit to sell asphalt in the township. Next, I was on the phone reporting him to the Pennsylvania State Police.
Our neighbor, however, had the garage door open and the “salesman” just walked right in—he didn’t even consider the front door. When I relayed this bit of information to the dispatcher, she immediately sent a car.
The neighbor also declined this man’s offer. As he left the neighbor's house and drove past ours, I read the license plate number to the dispatcher, who relayed it to the police officer en route. After doing a search of the area, and not finding anything, the officer came to our house for more information. The officer also visited the two neighbors.
I’m not sure if they actually arrested the guy, but the officer told me we all gave him a good description and the license plate number. As a matter of fact, he said they already had a name and location, so they’ll get him.
My advice—if something doesn’t look or feel right, check it out. And call the police if you even think something is a scam. Protect yourself.