BBB warns of company finding new ways to trick scam victims

Scam Busters

Shirley Winfree says her driveway looks like nothing’s been done nearly four months after paying $1,000 to have it fixed. 

On April 27, she says a man named Toby Lovell from High Performance Asphalt started work on her driveway, filling in cracks and resealing the pavement. 

At first, she says he quoted her $800. 

Once he started working, she says he asked for another $200 for more materials and said he’d be back to finish. 

“He never showed up,” Winfree said. 

After weeks of phone calls and text messages, Winfree realized she’d been scammed. 

“Just kept putting me off and putting me off,” she said. “I was angry that he didn’t show back up.” 

The Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee says Lovell is one of nearly a dozen people associated with a long-running family business of driveway paving scams, mostly targeting the elderly. 

“They take off with your money and never complete the job,” said Lisa Smith, marketing and communications manager for the BBB. 

Smith says since 1997, the Lovell family has used more than 20 different business names. 

“Lovell Paving, Able Asphalt, Affordable Painting and Seal Coating,” Smith named. 

Lovell said he didn’t want to do an interview but said he did nothing wrong. 

The BBB says dozens of complaints have been filed against the different family businesses since 1997. 

“Each time they have a complaint or there’s some sort of lawsuit filed against them, they change their name and just pick up and start all over again,” Smith said. 

Smith says consumers should look for red flags. 

“If the deal seems to be too good to be true, it probably is,” Smith said. 

“Asking you to make a quick decision and sign on the spot.” 

The type of warning signs Winfree hopes others will spot so they don’t end up victims too. 

“Investigate before you pay,” Winfree said. “Get references.” 

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