Florida Woman Returns Home From Work, Finds Driveway ‘Stolen’

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The plight of a Florida woman has captured national attention after she went to work one day and returned home to find her driveway had been “stolen,” leaving many to wonder how something so bizarre could have happened. Thankfully, investigators may have uncovered the answer, and it should serve as a warning to others.

Amanda Brochu
Amanda Brochu (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

When Amanda Brochu put her home on the market in early December of 2023, she hired some contractors to do some minor improvements to the house in anticipation of the sale. Unfortunately, this normal endeavor set off a bizarre chain of events as contractors began showing up and taking measurements for a project Brochu hadn’t requested.

Shortly after hiring contractors for other jobs, contractors came to install a new driveway at Brochu’s home. However, this wasn’t something she wanted done, according to The Blaze. So, she confronted one of the contractors, who told her that a man named “Andre,” claiming to be the landlord of the property, had ordered the new driveway.

When Amanda Brochu listed her home for sale, an unusual chain of events was set off. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Upon questioning, the contractor showed Brochu a text message exchange with “Andre,” in which he had agreed to a price of $7,200 for the new driveway but said he couldn’t meet in person to make the payment. As the contractor grew suspicious, he demanded “Andre” provide proof of ownership of the property. That’s when “Andre” cut off communication.

Realizing something was amiss, Brochu contacted authorities to report the incident. Police then confronted “Andre.” According to “Andre,” it was all a misunderstanding due to an incorrect address. After allegedly clearing everything up, “Andre” said nothing else would happen at the property. However, that proved untrue a week later when Amanda Brochu returned home from work to find her driveway missing.

“They said that he said it was a mistake,” Brochu recalled. “He just got the address wrong, nothing else will happen again.”

Amanda Brochu
When Amanda Brochu returned from work, she discovered her driveway had been “stolen.” (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Much to Brochu’s surprise, she arrived home to find a bare dirt track where her concrete slab driveway once was, prompting the single mother to go to the local media with her story. It was not long until Brochu drew national attention as further investigation revealed that defrauded contractors may be to blame for the bizarre incident.

“I come home and my driveway is gone,” Brochu said, with a laugh of disbelief.

As the story garnered significant attention, a general contractor, who wished to remain anonymous, told WFTV that the driveway “theft” was likely the result of an “overpayment” scam, where scammers use public home listings from sites like Zillow to target contractors. After finding a home for sale, the unscrupulous individual contacts contractors, usually those who are unlicensed, asking them for a bid for work on the exterior of the house. After agreeing on a price, the scammer then defrauds the unsuspecting contractor by sending a large check.

In the “overpayment” scam, the payment is always more than the agreed-upon amount, as the name would suggest. After the contractor receives the check, the scammer, pretending to be the homeowner, calls and requests a refund for the overpayment difference. The contractor usually agrees, issuing the requested refund only to have the check later bounce, meaning the contractor is not only not getting paid for the job, but they are also out the money they “refunded.”

So, the anonymous contractor believes that, in this case, the defrauded contractor learned about the bounced check while in the middle of the job at Amanda Brochu’s property. Realizing they weren’t getting paid and possibly wanting to retaliate for the bounced check, the contractor left, leaving the driveway project only halfway completed.

Amanda Brochu was left with a half-completed project with investigators suspecting that she and an unsuspecting contractor both fell victim to an “overpayment” scam. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

As is often the case, Florida deputies were left with few leads as they investigated the scam since it is believed that the scammer used a burner phone and a fake name. However, the story still has a happy ending, thanks to the attention that the story received. After Amanda Brochu made the local news, a Cox Media Group radio sponsor offered to replace her driveway for free. Of course, many homeowners are not so lucky.

Instead, they are left paying to finish the job in a case like this one. However, knowledge is power, and the more people who are aware of such a scam, the less likely it is that a scammer will succeed in defrauding unsuspecting contractors. So, make sure you spread the word to potential homeowners, who might list their homes for sale, and contractors alike. It might just save someone a lot of money and a horrible headache.