ON YOUR SIDE: Asphalt scammers take thousands from elderly woman

Published: Nov. 8, 2019 at 5:47 PM CST
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The police chief for the city of Purdy said scammers went door-to-door Wednesday offering to lay down leftover gravel they had from a previous job when they came across Betty Gage.

Gage was scammed out of thousands of dollars and was left with a "new" driveway she wasn't expecting.

"It just made me feel like such an idiot for what I'd done," she said.

Gage was left with a thin layer of asphalt that's bumpy and causes puddles. It's the work of man who showed up in a red pickup Wednesday, offering to lay down the leftover gravel.

"I asked him well how much would that be?" she said. "He said 'oh that's free."

The man then offered to lay gravel all the way up to the top for just $3 a square foot. Instead, he paved her driveway with a thin layer of blacktop, not the gravel. Betty said he wouldn't give her a price estimate until the job was over, then he demanded she pay $5,000, which she did.

"I was sitting there in shock," she said. "I couldn't say anything or think. I just knew I was broke."

Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe said the men involved were from out of state.

"These guys tend to move from town to town pretty rapidly," he said. "Right after they took the payment from this lady they fled and we're still trying to track them down."

KY3's On Your Side has covered scams like this in the past. First it was "All Asphalt Services." Betty said this guy worked for "Mike's Construction."

"They're supposed to have two companies," she said. "That's what we found out from the police department."

The BBB rates Mike's Construction out of Arkansas with an F.

"Most legitimate contractors know exactly how much asphalt they have, they're not going to have and left over to go knock on somebody's door and say we've got some leftover can we pave your driveway," said Lowe.

Gage said the men were in-and-out within 30 minutes. Lowe says the investigation is still ongoing.

The city of Purdy did have crews laying asphalt near city hall Friday. Those crews are legitimate.

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