Driveway scammers continue to target the elderly in Knoxville

Driveway scammers continue to target the elderly in Knoxville

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The driveway in front of her home has a fresh layer of seal coating on it. Irene was ripped off by the worst type of door to door rip-off artist. He baited her with a cheap quote to apply the sealant. The driveway in front of her home has a fresh layer of seal coating on it. Irene was ripped off by the worst type of door to door rip-off artist. He baited her with a cheap quote to apply the sealant.
She said the original cost was going to be $225, but she ended up paying $900 and the cracks in her driveway were not filled as promised. She said the original cost was going to be $225, but she ended up paying $900 and the cracks in her driveway were not filled as promised.
"Oh, when he came in the door, I said this is going to be $225 dollars. He said, 'No ma'am,'" said Irene. "He said that's just for labor. He said that is not including any materials." "Oh, when he came in the door, I said this is going to be $225 dollars. He said, 'No ma'am,'" said Irene. "He said that's just for labor. He said that is not including any materials."
By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Phony driveway pavers are back and targeting the elderly. Many of these scammers are from out of state, but some are local. The "canned" sales pitches of these scammers don't change much.

Spring is the time of the year when so-called contractors come knocking at your door, offering you a deal to either seal your driveway or lay asphalt.  Be careful.

"They wanted to know if I wanted to have my driveway done, said it looks in bad shape," said Irene, an 86-year-old widow who recently was ripped off. We will not disclose her real name to protect her identity.

The driveway in front of her home has a fresh layer of seal coating on it. Irene was ripped off by the worst type of door to door rip-off artist. He baited her with a cheap quote to apply the sealant.

She said the original cost was going to be $225, but she ended up paying $900 and the cracks in her driveway were not filled as promised.

Irene says when the scammer entered her house for his check, he got ugly.

"Oh, when he came in the door, I said this is going to be $225 dollars. He said, 'No ma'am,'" said Irene. "He said that's just for labor. He said that is not including any materials."

If someone walks up to your front door as they did to Irene, you'll likely hear tactics such as:
  • We're in the neighborhood 
  • We're running a special today 
  • We've just seal coated a driveway up the street and we have some left over material 
  • We want to help you 
What they won't say is "We prey on the elderly." That's what they did to Irene as she wrote a check for $900 dollars to a Robert C. Mattingly.  

"He stood over me. He was looking down as I was writing, looking to see how much money was in my checkbook, but I hadn't brought it forward," said Irene. 

Irene said she was scared and intimidated, but she didn't think to ask him to leave.

"All I had to do was turn around and push my burglar alarm. I never even thought about it," she said.    

Irene did call authorities about the paver, but he's still out there. She wants him stopped and doesn't want others to fall for the same scheme.

Most of the guys who knock on your door are known for their bait and switch strategies. What you need to do, though it may be tough, is tell them that you're not interested before they start their work.
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