Senior Citizen Loses $15,000 to Alleged Landscaping Scam in San Diego (Video)


A 79-year-old resident of San Diego, Robert Gayot, lost $15,000 in an alleged landscaping scam. The incident has prompted him to warn others to avoid falling victim to similar schemes.

Details of the Scam

Robert Gayot, who takes great pride in his yard, was approached last month by a crew of landscapers offering to make improvements at a seemingly reasonable price of $10 per bag of mulch. After agreeing to the service, three additional trucks arrived with more workers, and they began covering his yard with mulch. During the process, Robert was instructed to stay inside to avoid being in the way.

Inflated Invoice and Threats

An hour later, Robert received an invoice for $19,000, claiming that 1,900 bags of mulch had been used. When he questioned the amount, the landscapers became pushy and threatened him, demanding payment. Feeling threatened, Robert managed to negotiate the amount down to $15,000 and was forced to write two checks for $7,500 each to different individuals.

Aftermath and Investigation

Robert reported the scam to the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s office, and the state’s contractors license board. He also shared his experience on Nextdoor, where he received numerous responses from others in the area who had encountered similar pitches. The business card left by the scammers read “Danilo Martinez Landscaping,” but attempts to contact the company were unsuccessful, and Yelp reviews labeled it a scam.

Preventive Measures

Authorities advise residents to decline unsolicited services, seek references, and obtain multiple estimates for home projects. Robert’s story highlights the importance of caution when hiring for home improvement services. Unfortunately, he also had to spend an additional $500 to remove the unnecessary mulch from his yard.


Robert Gayot’s experience serves as a cautionary tale for others. By sharing his story, he hopes to prevent similar scams from affecting more people. Authorities emphasize the importance of being cautious and thorough when hiring for home improvement services.


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