LUZERNE BOROUGH, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A positive outcome to a story we brought you a couple of weeks ago, about a paving scam. A local business owner was threatened to pay up after getting work she never asked for. But another local business owner who saw her story on eyewitness news came to the rescue.
Mary Lou Evans contacted Eyewitness News a couple of weeks ago after she fell victim to a paving scam. The con artists destroyed her property. But over the weekend, she was touched by a surprise act of kindness.
Mary Lou Evans says men came by her business on April 12, claiming they had ‘extra asphalt’ leftover from another job and offered to patch some potholes in her parking lot for a discount. While she was gone, they paved over her entire lot without her consent and demanded more than $20,000 for the work. She says one of them threatened her when she refused.
“He said ‘I hope you can sleep at night,’ and I didn’t sleep for a few nights after that, worrying that he’d come back or something,” Mary Lou Evans explained.
Evans realized she was a victim of a paving scam and the scammers left her with a big mess.
“All the new lines we just had done were gone, they left crumbles on the edges, never sealed the edges,” Evans said.
Shawn Calkins and John McGeehan with Universal Line Painting say they were ‘appalled’ when they saw Evans’ story on Eyewitness News. They’ve done some work for her in the past, and wanted to help.
“We saw it on the news and he and I just got to talking about how terrible it was to take advantage of somebody because there are good contractors out there. We were like you know what? Let’s go fix it, let’s go do our due diligence to make sure what’s there holds up,” said Shawn Calkins, Owner, Universal Line Painting.
With the help of Douglas Sealcoat, they surprised Evans with a freshly sealed and painted parking lot free of charge and left her a note.
“So there are still angels out there,” stressed Evans.
I’m glad we were able to do that for her I’m glad we could help her regain the trust that there are good people out there and we could make this right again that really means a lot,” said Calkins.
Eyewitness News learned that the scammers, often rent legitimate business equipment and use different company names making them very tough to track down.
Calkins recommends doing some research on the company before agreeing to any work, and trust your gut if something seems off or too good to be true or if you’re being pressured or rushed.