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.