BALTIMORE - The plan to resurface their driveway was paved with good intentions. Not so much though, Brenda says, when it comes to the man who did the job.
"He told me it would be so smooth you could skate on it, he guaranteed it for ten years, she said"
But when Brenda drove backed her car over the driveway three days after the driveway had been resurfaced it started to look like gravel.
And she says the nightmare began with a man knocking on her door. She said he had been on a job and had some asphalt left over.
Just enough for her driveway, Brenda says she was told.
So she said yes, and wrote a check.
A little later, after having second thoughts, Brenda tried to stop her check, but found out it was cashed within minutes of the man leaving her home.
And now, she'll have to pay again to have the job done properly.
"My money's gone, it cost me $3,000 to find out I was scammed,” she said. “He just caught me on that one day because usually I'm pretty good about not doing that."
Scams like this one spike during the summer, Rick Brinkley of the Better Business Bureau tells us.
With the BBB's help we came up with a list of the top five summer home repair scam tactics.
Things scammers say
1. I have extra materials
2. I can fix it for less
3. I'll give you a free inspection
4. Insurance will pay for it
5. I need all the money up front
I have extra materials. Brinkley says few legitimate contractors order too many materials.
I can fix it for less. But what about the quality, Brinkley asks.
They tell you they'll give you a free inspection. The BBB says that's usually just a way of getting you to let your guard down.
Insurance will pay for it. Brinkley says that's up to your insurance company and what your policy says.
I need all the money up front. The BBB says you should never be expected to pay most of the cost up front, unless you're getting custom work done.
Brinkley says if you need repairs around the house, research different companies and ask questions, so you have some idea of how much it should cost.
And you should always be the one to initiate a project.
"The scam areas come up with the guy going door to door," said Brinkley.
This is a lesson Brenda learned all too painfully well.
"We work hard for our money, and it's just like I flushed it down the toilet," said Brenda.
Next project around the house ... Brenda says she will do her homework first, to find a contractor who's on the level.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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