Have you ever worried about your front driveway being stolen?
If you haven’t, that probably pretty normal, though this story out of Florida might unlock a new fear. A Florida woman came home from work one day to find that someone had made off with something very valuable…her concrete driveway.
To say that Amanda Brochu was shocked would be an understatement. She had been fixing up her home in an attempt to sell it, and her house was listed on the market (with a for sale sign in the yard and everything) when her driveway was stolen right out of her yard.
Brochu had listed her home in early December, and she told the local news station WFTV that’s when she started having some strange occurrences. One of them being the fact that contractors kept showing up to her home to measure her driveway, when she hadn’t called for anyone to do so.
For some of the visits, Brochu was at work, and her son was the only one at home. When Brochu was at her house when one contractor showed up, she confronted them, and they told her that they had been contacted by someone named Andre to get a quote for a driveway replacement.
That contractor then provided text messages from Andre, who gave Brochu’s address and said that he was he away from the area and would not be able to meet the contractor in person to give them the deposit. It was at this point that the contractor asked for proof of ownership of the home and full payment, and after that, the contractor didn’t hear back from Andre.
As it turns out, this “Andre” person was a scammer who was actually targeting contractors. It is apparently common practice for scammers to target homes on the market (hoping they are vacant) and asking contractors for external work (landscaping, painting, paving). They’ll then send a check to pay for it, usually “accidentally” overpaying, and then they ask for a refund for the amount they overpaid. Then, the check that the scammer initially sent bounces, and they pocket the money that was sent to them by the contractor.
This Andre person was trying to do that with Brochu’s home, and might have successfully pulled it off considering someone came and removed the concrete driveway while the Florida woman was at work. With her home being for sale, in addition to the other improvements she had already made to the property, the driveway theft created a massive headache.
After the local news station covered the story, a GoFundMe was established with the goal of bringing in $10,000 to help replace the concrete driveway. That fundraiser ended up raising over $13,000, but that wasn’t the only good thing to come from the story.
A paving company that was a media sponsor in the area offered to pave the woman’s driveway for free, so now the money that was raised will be donated to local nonprofit in the Orange County area. Though the drive way scam showed that some people are simply the worst, there were some silver linings. It also managed to bring out the best in others, and allowed for this woman to get a brand new driveway and a Florida charity to receive a $13,000 donation.
You can view the local news story about the initial concrete driveway theft below: