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Curb-painting offer is misleading, Lilburn neighbors say

Staff Photo: Josh Green A notice on this vacant Mossy Lane home in Lilburn bears a notice that officials say is part of a scam involving curb painting.

Staff Photo: Josh Green A notice on this vacant Mossy Lane home in Lilburn bears a notice that officials say is part of a scam involving curb painting.

LILBURN -- The little notice taped to Judith Shriner's mailbox didn't sit right with her.

Someone was offering to paint Shriner's address numbers on her curb or driveway, visible to all on her Lilburn cul-de-sac called Mossy Lane. In four-inch, black figures, with a white background "specially treated with reflective glass beads for the best day and nighttime viewing," the "professional quality" work was offered at "a modest cost of $15," the notice read.

But Shriner's mailbox clearly bears her address already. Puzzled, the retiree called her daughter, who warned that it was a scam. The notice asked Shriner, if interested, to return it to her front door, where the next day "a courteous representative" would retrieve payment -- cash, check or credit/debit card -- after the work was done.

"I wasn't putting anything outside with my money, my check, nothing," said Shriner, a retired office manager and 29-year resident of the Burntwood subdivision.

Consumer advocates say the curb-painting arrangement is old hat and isn't necessarily a scam, though it could be illegal. Nothing on the notice identifies who posted them in Shriner's neighborhood Sunday. Many notices still flapped from vacant or foreclosed properties by mid-week.

An online safety alert was emailed to Lilburn city residents this week, warning against the "scam" notice that states police, firefighter and paramedics will appreciate the reflective house numbers in emergencies.

"This is obviously an attempt to confuse people with an 'official' looking document," the alert from SafetySmart Lilburn Inc., a volunteer organization, reads. "This is not a requirement of the City of Lilburn or Gwinnett County."

The alert further advises residents to call police if the people responsible for the notices are spotted again.

Lilburn police aren't technically investigating the situation, but they are aware of it. No one has filed a report alleging criminal activity, said Lilburn police spokesman Capt. Ben Hayes.

Permitting could be the overriding issue, Hayes said.

"If they are soliciting door to door, then they would have to come by the police department and get a permit," he said. "To operate a business in the city, they would need a business permit" issued by the city's Planning and Economic Development Department.

Fred Elsberry, Atlanta Better Business Bureau president, said the curb-painting offer is common in metro Atlanta and does not qualify as a scam.

"There is no city requirement to have your house number painted on your curb, but many people ... feel it's better to have it there in case the fire or police need to find them," Elsberry said. "(But) the issue with needing a solicitation permit is real -- they should have one."

Thinking back across her years on Mossy Lane, Shriner thought the curb-painting, whoever's behind it, seemed vaguely familiar.

"I think they came around doing this about 15 to 20 years ago," she said.

Comments

suedehead 2 years, 1 month ago

This scam came thru Rivermist S/D last year. The flier is identical, but the cost was $25. Thankfully, none of my neighbors took the bait.

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TOWG 2 years, 1 month ago

Explain more how this is a scam please.

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kevin 2 years, 1 month ago

it is only people looking to make money. what is wrong with that? I get restaurants sticking trash to my mailbox every week. No one complains about that. The County probably doesn't like this because someone is making money without paying taxes or a business license. What about the hundreds of people cutting grass without a license and not reporting that income? Cutting grass and cleaning houses is a giant money making deal in Georgia and the IRS doesn't seem to go after them either. So let the painters me.

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suedehead 2 years, 1 month ago

na·ive   /nɑˈiv/ adjective 1. having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality; unsophisticated; ingenuous. 2. having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous: Kevin's so naive he believes everything he reads. He has a very naive attitude towards the world.

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Sandykin 2 years, 1 month ago

20 years ago, we lived in the Lilburn area and received such a notice on our mailbox. We paid the $15 (or whatever few dollars it was) because it did seem to be a good idea to have our house number clearly visible on the curb in front of the house. The metal numbers nailed to the post our mailbox sat on were not readable at night and if our porch light wasn't on, neither did the numbers on the house. "They" collected the money and did the work. "They" did a fine job and for many years, our house number was clearly readable on the curb, even at night. While we never needed it for an emergency, it was nice when we had out of town company arriving at night and they were able to easily locate our house number. We figured we got our money's worth and never even considered it a scam. Why is this in the paper? Slow news day?

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