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.
Friday, August 1 2014 11:55 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:55:19 GMT
Presidents from the West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak are meeting with world health leaders to come up with ways to stop the spread of the deadly disease.More >>
An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than the efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected countries met...More >>
Friday, August 1 2014 11:34 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:34:05 GMT
A three-day cease-fire in the Gaza Strip has gone into effect following heavy Israel-Hamas fighting.More >>
A Gaza cease-fire quickly unraveled on Friday as violence erupted in and around a southern town in the war-ravaged strip, with at least 40 Palestinians killed in Israeli shelling while the military said two soldiers were...More >>
Friday, August 1 2014 11:23 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:23:51 GMT
U.S. employers extended this year's hiring surge into July by adding a solid 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are shedding the caution that had...More >>
U.S. employers extended their solid hiring into July by adding 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are gradually shedding the caution that had marked the...More >>
Updated look and more features, including weather videos and Report the Weather More >>
StormCenter 2 On the Go is updated with MORE features, including weather videos, meteorologists' tweets, and Report the Weather, plus your hour-by-hour forecast, Pinpoint Digital Doppler, and weather alerts for up to 4 locations! More >>