Sealant Scams: Be on Alert

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A viewer calls 12 after she says she was the target of a paving scam. She was nearly duped out of $4,000.

Victoria Dillard thought she was getting a deal on driveway sealant. Two men in a work truck showed up in her neighborhood with what she thought was a bargain.

"They had some leftover sealant and they wanted to get rid of it real cheap. They said they would give it to me half price," she told us.

After the work was done, they quoted her a price.

"$3,750 dollars and at that point, I went in locked the door and called a neighbor," she said.

Dillard showed us the shoddy job she says the workers did. There were cracks that were not filled and over spray on her home.

Looking back on the situation, she knows the guys were not legit. We wanted to know why she let them do any work before doing some research.

"Well, I had been out working in the heat all day. I guess I wasn't thinking straight. But you know I was thinking it would be something reasonable because if all they did was put sealant down, that is all they should be paid for. I had it done several years ago for two hundred and a had a marvelous job done. They did everything these guys didn't," she explained.

The Better Business Bureau has seen these situations before. It warns, before you do business; ask for references, get everything in writing, don't pay in cash and make sure you see a license.

"I am sure they have done it to a lot of people. It is like they say, for every rat you see, there are 50 rats behind the wall you don't see. I just want everyone to be aware of this," Dillard told us.

There are some red flags that you need know; the person offers to do the work with leftover materials, you are rushed into making a decision, be suspicious if workers want you to pay with cash and be cautious of doing business with out of state companies.

In Dillard's case, the workers were in an unmarked truck. Once that concerned neighbor showed up, they took off. For now, she's stuck with the driveway. She say's she learned from her lesson and hopes her mistake will protect others.

"My neighbor has a son who knows about these scams and says some old fellow got scammed for $5,000 for the same thing and he was scared and gave it to them," she said.

A reminder, a little time and a little research can save you from a big mistake.

If you are suspicious of someone doing paving work, file a complaint with the BBB and contact your local police department.

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