Student Curb Service Real or Scam?

Last week, we got a notice our number of the house was newly painted on the curb stones at the street again. The notice was from Student Curb Service, where they highlighted the curb stones were freshly painted for convenience of police and fire department in times of need.


All sounds good right? Your house need to be identifiable when needed, and students need to know what an honest job feels like…Like they say:

Curb numbers are used by police, fire and ambulance, as well as delivery men. Most addresses cannot be read from the street at night. Freshly painted curb numbers are easily seen by the headlights of a car.

Because this service is not offered by the city, we provide it for everyone on a donation basis. Since we cannot find everyone at home during the daylight painting hours, we paint the addresses for all residents. Your donation for this service is strictly voluntary.

Only, we got the exact same notice only 3 months ago in our mailbox, where I don’t see any changes to the paint of the number on the curb stones. Is this a scam or legit? So far we have not paid anything, but should we pay these poor students or would our money be spend on all other things except on education?

Anybody know if this is a legit operation?

Update: some more research showed more suspicious people (source):

''Students'' have shown up at my door roughly every four or five years collecting for painting my number on the curb. And I used to give them money. Not any more. That's because the roots of the big eucalyptus in front of my house have pushed up the street just enough to allow an occasional puddle to form, which covers and discolors the number. But you don't have to pay for this service which, most likely, is conducted illegally.

The other day I came home and there was a note taped to my door saying that as a service to the residents, numbers will be painted on our curbs. This is nothing new, but because I have large, clearly visible numbers on my house, I have never wanted the number painted on the curb.
The last time they did this was probably a few years ago and when they came to collect (donations), I told the man that I had not wanted it painted and, therefore, would not be paying for it. He was visibly irritated but left without saying anything. When I saw this note I decided to call and tell them ahead of time that I did not want this service. They say it has a value of $15 and that they will take all contributions and to make your donation when the ''student'' calls at your door. I can tell you for sure that the person who was collecting last time was no student!


  1. jean says:

    WRONG NUMBER – DUH! Got the same notice on my door today. Went out to check and they had painted the wrong address on my curb. Who are these people?

    1. Michelle says:

      They panited the wront number on my curb just last week! How can I get a hold of them??

  2. jean says:

    Thanks for posting the pict on the brochure — sure want to know who’s behind this org.

  3. N. Parry says:

    This guy came to my house with the same info. I looked into it and found a myspace page where this 23 yr old kid lists “Student Curb Service, Inc.” as his company.
    Here’s the link:

  4. Anna says:

    Well for starters they have to ask you first if you want your curb painted. This morning seen a man at my curb told him to leave it alone it was painted 2months ago by a company that asked if I wanted it done not did it first and asked second. When the man came to my door for a donation I told him no I just paid $10.00 2 months ago from a company that asked first. This is trespassing no one has the rights to do work any place on your property and ask for donations.

  5. Ria says:

    I got this flyer today after a guy asked for money in San Jose. I don’t give any money to anyone who does not provide an address or phone number. I told them I don’t know about the flyer and I never asked them to paint my curb.

    @N. Parry. I found the same link. If the guy comes from San Ramon and says he’s Christian, I think there are more honest ways to make a living. That’s a long drive to San Jose.

  6. Matt says:

    It is a long drive to san jose. It is the only city around that allows businesses that are non-profit organizations to have city permits to do such work. All surrounding cities in my area only offer to non-profits. There are always people who do things illegally and injustices occur all the time, that’s part of living in our world (a child dies of hunger every four seconds, and millions are sold into sex slavery every year), and fortunately I am not one of them. In job searching while being a student, this has been the best means to make money, and sure, there are some people who “hustle” for money at the door, but I assure you, if I, the one you are judging, were to come to your door as a student (and yes, at 23 I am still a student because I took a year off to work overseas and not all my junior college credits transferred).I will not allow you to pay me if you don’t want to, which is a personal conviction of mine. However, in terms of an “honest living”, I just got hired by a long term established technology company. I am also very appreciative of any money people donate, as it’s not all for me, portions go to support an orphanage in Indonesia I had the privilege of starting. Hope this helps you understand where I come from.

    1. Michelle says:

      Ok fine…I happily donated $20 on Thursday (7/29/10) and noticed on Sunday that the incorrect address was painted on my curb??!!

      1. ardee says:

        Hello: Yes, they also came to our door, I told them to go away, last year all the did was smear the paint, and it washed away within a week’s time. Several of my neighbors are out of work and $20. for two minutes work. The van that drops off these people does not have a regular license plate, but every year has a red temp sticker. The lady nest door to me is 92 years old and speaks very little English, she told them she couldn’t afford the $20, they painted her curb and went back to ask for money, my other neighbor is out of work and said , go ahead and paint the curb but I have 5 mouths to feed and I am out of work, they did not paint his curb either. My other neighbor told them No. They painted his curb anyway and went back for money. San Jose does not give a damn who does what to who’s property. This makes me sick, and those painters are a hoax. Students my Ass

  7. Victor The Cleaner says:

    Just bought a house a few months ago in San Jose. They left the note, painted the address on the curb… THE WRONG ADDRESS (numbers juxtaposed). Notwithstanding the fact that one could figure out the address from looking at the correctly painted ones on either side of my house, the correct address is clearly visible next to my front door— from the street. I’ve been waiting for someone to come back so I could tell them not to let dyslexic kids paint curbs. I wonder if they just drive around, or troll zillow or the mls websites to prey upon new homeowners?? This has caused problems with pizza delivery already (who also can’t follow directions when I clearly tell them not to pay attention to the curb number— and again, it is clearly wrong since the first two numbers don’t even match the addresses of the houses on either side). This organization is opening itself up for major liability in case there is ever a medical emergency…

  8. duc says:

    They came yesterday (9-11-10) and painted the wrong number. Does anyone have a contact number??????

    1. Colleen says:

      They painted my curb with the wrong number and I never pay them because I did not ask for the service. It is scam that’s why there is no number and these bogus accounts about how religious they are is probably posted by them to make themselves look legit. Don’t fall for it.

  9. ww says:

    W received the note this morning and posted it up to decline the service… they still go ahead and paint the curb.
    Student Curb Service, Inc comes later that night to collect a donation for a service we initially declined.
    We refuse, then he mocks us. Disrespectful; Unprofessional!

  10. dan says:

    how can we stop this scam? They collected $20 dollars each year from each house. it is a huge amount of money. But we do not know how they spend this money.

    1. Dennis says:

      I suggest you stop paying the $20.
      As they say in the note, this is a suggested contribution, you don’t have to pay it!
      If you stop paying, they will go away eventually!

    2. Key123 says:

      We buy Coca-Cola all the time but we don’t know how they spend there money. These guys are not doing anything illegal they are trying to make and honest dollar instead of selling drugs or robbing people and yet you are mostly fighting them. Whats happening to the American dream?

      1. Dennis says:

        Well, honest living instead of selling drugs, yes, but can’t they first ask if you would like to have the number painted, instead of do it and ask for money..

  11. Terri says:


  12. Jimmie says:

    If they left a note in or on the mailbox, I think its ILLEGAL to leave anything by USPS codes by the postmaster. Handbills taped to doors,walls,garages,windows, curb under mailboxes are OK with paint tape.

    PEOPLE, the main part to whether it is a scam is: “Did you get that curb number painted CORRECTLY for “X” amount of dollars and permission before work done”? If yes—IT’S NOT A SCAM!
    IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE PERSON LOOKED LIKE, IT MATTERS IF THEY DID THE JOB CORRECTLY , WERE NICE IN ATTITUDE, AND AFTER BEING PAID, LEFT THE SCENE TO THE NEXT NEIGHBOR. If they do all this correctly, CALL your neighbor and tell them how good a job they are doing and tell your neighbor to BUY.
    If you have a problem that can not be worked out, close the door and lock quietly, and call the cops.

  13. Rico Barbina says:

    When they came to my door, I too was skeptical at first. I had an extensive conversation with one of the guys. He introduced me to his supervisor (the Christian guy from San Ramon) Here’s the scoop:

    These guys are legitimate. They do have permits to put a note on your door and paint your curb. They are actually high school or college students.

    They do make mistakes on occasion. There isn’t really a good way to get a hold of them to have them make a correction. It seems there is an abnormally high number of phone abusers with less than 1% of legitimate calls.

    This is not a conspiracy. They are really honest guys trying to make an honest living.

    If you aren’t comfortable with it, can’t afford it, or simply don’t want to don’t pay, then don’t.

    They said most of the residents they encounter are cool whether or not they donate. However, some feel violated and call the police. One resident concocted a story when they told the police the student painter came into their house.

    If you don’t agree; don’t pay them. But there is no need to be nasty. We all have to live in this life together.

  14. Randy says:

    Medical emergency this morning, 7/23/2011, fire department could not locate the address 1st time by because of incorrect number painted on the curb. This ‘service’ occurred last week, and I can’t find the flyer anymore, it looks almost exactly like the flyer printed above, except I thought a phone number was included. Does anyone still have the flyer, I am in San Jose, the kids came by either early this week or late last week. Thanks.
    P.S. I live down the street from the address where this occurred, they painted my number correctly and I gave them $$. The address of the incorrect number did not respond to the flyer or anyone that might have come by to collect. Coincidence ??

  15. They put the wrong number on our curb. They put our neighbor’s address. Please correct it.

  16. price g says:

    Try something simple: Ask the person coming to your door for his/her student identification. Every college and university issues one. The person can’t claim to be a student painter without a student id, would be my response.

  17. […] of all, if those students who paint house numbers on the curb left a note on my front door that read “As a service to the sluts in this area, we […]

  18. […] You don't WAH WAH WAH to the police about it. It's a compliment, not a crime.Second of all, if those students who paint house numbers on the curb left a note on my front door that read "As a service to the sluts in this area, we will […]

  19. knowlege says:

    Hey everyone. I was once an employee of this so called student company. It is a huge scam for both the student and for the home owner. Here is how it works. The group comes from San Ramon to paint curbs. Each employee (most not even students) tapes fliers to all doors in area. Then the painting begins immediately after the fliers are out. The time it takes for one curb to be painted by two people is about 30-45 seconds. Once the curbs are painted off to lunch until evening when more people are home so we can scam hard working people out of money. When collecting the money we are encouraged to make residents feel bad for not giving, play mind games with people and other methods to get money. But for the “student” the deal is even worse. First we had to collect $150 that goes to the company before we see a dime. then if we pass that we can start making some money for yourself. If you feel as I do about this company let them know that what they do is wrong. Oh and guess what i have a number for all who seem to not be able to find one… here you go (925)487-0693

  20. Frankie says:

    Hi I had my # s done they did a great job & they were nice this guy came up around 45 dressed nice shorts nice friendly ask if I wanted to giv & I said sure gave him 20 $ he was really kool guy nice unlke alot peopk ed I meet out where I live lol keep up good work guys dobt giv up :)

    1. Frankie says:

      & 4 all u other people u can giv want u lke there no set amount everything helps these guys he was real kool thats why I gave him 20$ I would gave him more but didnt hav it so reach in to ur pockets & giv these guys somethg I did & im not wealthy but im not cheap either I slways buy stuff from kids candy raffle tics ect ect thats how america works giv to ur community & quit being selfish
      Peace out love frankie

  21. Danny Ganth Los Angeles, CA says:

    If you pay for the number after you check to make sure that the number is correct you will never have a wrong number. Especially if you and your neighbors choose a painter who asks first and gives you his number to call him when the numbers need painting. Refuse to pay anyone else.

  22. A.C. - San Jose says:

    I own a legitimate curb address painting service in San Jose and have for over 20 years.
    These guys, and others like them run a criminal scam, I have tracked and shut down many of them over the years.
    The primary crime they are committing is called “Negative Option Sales” a California Business and Professions code misdemeanor.
    The reason that you guys can’t get them stopped in San Jose is this: They have learned that only the San Jose Permits department officer is qualified to cite and stop them operating their business in this manner. The permits officer investigates complaints 2 -3 days afterwards – that’s why these guys do everything in one day, so as to be gone before the permits department officer can show up.
    They never leave any name, address, phone, email, handbill permit # or business license # on their flyer or anywhere, so they can’t be tracked except through their vehicle’s license plate. That’s why they always park their car around the corner out of sight of the first houses they work on. Tricky huh?
    Furthermore, they checkerboard in different areas every day, so you can never find them unless you spend all day driving around looking for them, which I have done many times.
    I would be interested in any information regarding their current whereabouts so that we can finally have these guys stopped from doing business in this manner in San Jose once and for all.

  23. Art Basso says:

    I had mine painted by Care for the Children and they did a beautiful job. We were very happy with the results. They were very considerate and gave me a receipt for my money.
    I have had this done previously by someone that painted a mural of the U.S. Flag it was great but over the years faded. Wish I knew who they were or had a template to do it myself.

  24. Kevin says:

    I used to paint curbs myself but I only did the ones I sold to homeowners who wanted it done. I can’t imagine doing this for people before you okayed it with them. Not only will you do alot of extra work for people who don’t want it done but it seems unethical to ask for payment from everyone in the neighborhood.

  25. […] an article from . Seems this one company has stirred some strong emotions in a lot of homeowners by the way they are […]