Target 2: Driveway Crew Scams Thousands from Brown County Woman - WBAY

Target 2: Driveway Crew Scams Thousands from Brown County Woman

Brown County - It's a popular springtime scheme--traveling crews looking to repair your driveway and steal your hard earned money.

Target 2 Consumer Alert spoke with a Brown County home owner who says she's out thousands of dollars after falling victim to one of these scams.

Betty Mayer says she was taken.  She was pressured by a traveling crew who promised to seal her blacktop driveway.

"Then they started in on their, 'Oh, but we can give you a really good deal, and it'll protect it for another, oh, lots of years,'" said Mayer. "They just kept smooth talking."

She says she didn't recognize the signs of a common scam when a crew from Texas pulled into her Suamico home with a truck and tank filled with sealer.

"I said, 'How much are you going to charge me?' They said, 'Oh, we really can't tell you because it goes by how much we use.'"

When they finished, Betty immediately noticed problems.

"When you look in all areas, it's all peeling off," said Mayer.

And that good deal she was promised?

"Four-thousand dollars. And I was here alone, and there was four of them, and they really started scaring me, so I just wanted to get rid of them, so I wrote out the check and they immediately went and cashed it," say Mayer.

Mayer reported it to police, then called local asphalt repair companies to learn she was ripped off.

The owner of Asphalt Seal & Repair in De Pere, a business rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, came out to get a look.

"This is a good example of what happens when they water the product down, there's not enough tar to stay. And it's coming off in just a big sheet," said Steve McLeod, Asphalt Seal & Repair.

McLeod says in his 43 years in this business, these sealant scams have gotten worse.

"If someone shows up with a truck and guys with sealer, that's a big red flag," said McLeod.

"We don't run around looking for work, we have work. And then they say, 'We have a special deal. We have to get rid of product.' That's not true, it can stay in the tank for day. Then they have 'hot sealer.' They told her that. There is no such thing."

The Better Business Bureau logs thousands of complaints on traveling repair scams every year.

"They're way over-charging for the service, and it's very shoddy product," said Susan Bach, Regional Director, Better Business Bureau. "And they're usually coming from out of state, so they don't have the required permits and licensing."

Betty posted a sign in her yard warning others after her costly lesson..

"They make you believe them. You trust people," she said.

Remember to take time to check out a company. Get a contract and quote in advance.

In Wisconsin, home repair contractors are required to register with the state. Before you hire, ask to see their registration card.

For more information on traveling sales scams, click here:

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