Police warn of sealcoating scam targeting seniors in Michigan

Scammers charge big money for minimal driveway work

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DETROIT – Police and the Better Business Bureau are issuing a warning about an old scam that's making the rounds this holiday weekend.

Authorities have been tracking criminals from Louisiana and Florida taking money from many seniors in Michigan as part of a sealcoating scam.

Scammers are offering to make repairs to driveways. They do very little but ask for large amounts of money.

Officials said scammers approach seniors while they're outside, offering to help improve the look of their driveways. They say it will be affordable but then ask for thousands of dollars while leaving the driveway a mess.

One woman who fell for the scam dished out lots of money and had little work actually done to her driveway. A man who approached her is from Louisiana, police said. He and his partner have been hitting homes all over the state, from Grand Rapids to Detroit, according to authorities.

There's concern that these types of thieves will be out in Metro Detroit during the holiday weekend. Anyone who is approached should ask for contact information and references, and should also avoid paying in full and demand a written statement.

Anyone who spots these scammers or someone coming to their home should go inside and call police.


About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.