Asphalt paving scam 'Fly-by-Nighters' arrive in the Valley

CLARKSTON, WA - A Clarkston woman is sharing her story in hopes of saving the same thing from happening to others.

She said she feels scammed after hiring a company to pave the parking lot of her business.

Charmaine Allen-Johnson said a young man came into her office, told her he had some left over asphalt from a project he did down the street, and asked if she'd like him to fill them.

"He told me, we'll give it to you for a really good deal," said Allen-Johnson. "And I was thinking, sure, I've got some stuff out there that could be filled, that would be kind of nice because they're here and I don't have to shop for it."

What seemed like an easy, convenient fix turned into a mess for Allen-Johnson. She said she told the man to only fill the pot holes and a strip across the parking. Instead, he paved more than three-fourths of it.

"So, this went from what I thought was going to cost $500 to almost $6,000," said Allen-Johnson.

People like this are commonly referred to as 'Fly-by-Nighters.' Some of them may have a business license, but they may not do a good job and they generally charge too much.

"Fly-by-Nighters/door knockers have extra mix at the end of the day," said Jeremy Walkup. "Or they say, we can make you a deal because we have extra product. We caution against using those folks. They typically aren't around very long and they don't stand behind their product."

In fact, this type of thing happens more often than you'd think. A similar situation was reported in Bellingham on July fourth and it involved the same company. The I-5 Paving Company reportedly uses local names to build trust.

Company leaders told Allen-Johnson they'd just finished paving one of the businesses down the street from her office. So, she thought they could be trusted but now feels like she was taken advantage of. She's sharing her story, with the hopes that people pay attention and don't let this happen to them.

"If someone comes in with a deal that's too good to be true, it definitely is too good to be true," said Allen-Johnson. "I should've told him to give me a statement and let me know exactly what he's doing, draw it out, show me his business license and get some kind of a quote."

Walkup said he also suggests getting quotes from a variety of local companies that you may know or be familiar with."

Clarkston Police did look into this and at this time they consider it resolved. But they said it's always important to get things in writing, check credentials and do your research before agreeing to anything.