Sheriff's office warns against asphalt scam

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

MONETTE, AR (KAIT) - A new scam has hit Region 8, and it's in your driveway.

Captain Justin Rolland with the Craighead County Sheriff's Department said there's something happening people need to be aware of.

"Basically, it's a scam involving an asphalt company or paving company," Rolland said. "And it's unfortunate because there are a lot of legitimate business like that out there. And you'll have that one or two that are either from out of county or out of state that will come in and literally just scam people with this driveway, pavement scam."

Rolland said first they want to speak to the homeowner.

"They tell them they're out here working on the road and they've got left over asphalt in their dump truck and for a minimal cost they'll put this asphalt in their driveway," Rolland said.

Rolland said they're approaching people in more than one way.

They will tell victims that they will pave a small area to see if the owner likes it.

Then, when owners ask about cost, they will tell them it won't be much because it's leftover asphalt, according to Rolland.

After crews finish, that's when the suspects will hit the owner will a well-over $7,000 cost.

This, Rolland said, puts homeowners in a corner, because they agree to pay, thinking it will be cheaper than what they owe.

Sammie Pate is one of their victims.

She was working in her yard on June 17, when some scammers approached her.

"I had a pre-existing piece of concrete," Pate said. "And he told me how much he'd charge for doing just this little area beside it. Well, I could live with that. But we made no arrangements for the whole driveway. I was out working in the yard and I looked up and they had a truck backed up under my carport, unloading and boys were already spreading the asphalt. So, what are you going to do? You can't roll it back up and put it in the truck."

Doing more than agreed upon wasn't the only problem Pate faced.

After they left and the asphalt dried, she discovered several problems with their work.

"They had it all carded off in here where you couldn't see," Pate said. "You couldn't see how far they got until it cooled off and you could take the cardboard off. It didn't even go up to the house."

Pate has since had the work repaired by someone else.

"We just want to make people aware of it," Rolland said. "That this is going on. As well as, there's nothing wrong with getting an upfront price. The home owners and citizens need to know what they're getting for the price that they're paying. And once that's established, it's a little bit easier to move forward on that particular job. So, they just need to know what they're paying for up front."

Pate said she wanted everyone to learn from her mistake.

"Check them out," Pate said. "I did not do this. I took the man at his word."

Pate wasn't the only victim.

"The Monette Police Department received several complaints," Rolland said. "I know there have been other towns in Craighead County alone and Mississippi County that law enforcement agencies received the exact complaints."

Rolland said he wants citizens to be on their guard.

"If there's ever any doubt, ask questions," Rolland said. "And then if they're not satisfied with the answers to those questions, call your local law enforcement agency. Let them know what's going on. And let them [come] over see it to see if it's a legitimate business or not."

Rolland said scams also hurt the real businesses.

He encourages everyone to do your homework, so you aren't the next victim.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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