Paving scams on the rise again in Tampa Bay area

A Riverview woman says this man pretended to work for a local paving company. He does not work with the company and is believed to be an unlicensed contractor.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – An 8 On Your Side investigation into unlicensed, roaming paving companies pushed the scammers out of town last spring. But now, some of them appear to be back.

A Seffner woman tells 8 On Your Side a man showed up at her door last week claiming to be an employee for the local paving company that recently worked on her driveway. But he was not. The woman snapped photos of the man and his truck. A piece of carpet was draped over the license plate.

Contractor investigation

“It was really scary,” said the woman, who was afraid to give her name.

The man wanted her to pay him hundreds of dollars to “seal” her driveway. She called the real company, Watkins & Sons, and learned the man outside was not legit.

Our 8 On Your Side reporting last year led to another investigation from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Contractor investigation

Det. Homer Brown said his unit investigates unlicensed contractors. Brown is very familiar with what he calls “gypsy” companies that come to Florida every year and try to rip off homeowners.

Last year, scammers completed paving jobs in Valrico so poor grass started poking up through the asphalt weeks after it was poured.

Larry McKinnon, of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, said the investigation is ongoing. He warns homeowners against hiring anyone who shows up at their doorsteps.

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