Driveway Repair Scammers in Marion County
Two Marion County women tell us they have fallen victim to driveway repair scammers.
Now they believe the con artists may be targeting people in another community.
The women said the scammers destroyed their driveway and stole personal items from their home.
It's too late for them, but they want others to be aware.
On May 17, 2013 at around 5 p.m. Pat Barmes of Northwest Ocala was watering her flowers when a man offered to repair her driveway.
"He explained to me really fast about what he could do. He could get rid of these pot marks. He gave me the impression really fast that he could do this for $30 to $50," said Barmes.
So Barmes agreed.
"I thought well that's not a lot of money. If he can make it look better I will take a chance on that," said Barmes.
Two men started working on Barmes driveway.
While the owner who identified himself as "Willy" and his wife who had a baby, were inside Barmes home.
Barmes said once they were done with her driveway, the owner told her the cost was $1,000.
After arguing back and forth, the price went down to $300 for the job.
"Finally he agreed to take the check for $300, but you got to write it out for cash. You can't put any names on it. By then I was pretty convinced I was being scammed, but him and his little wife were sitting in my house and he was kind of towering over me and I began to get afraid," said Barmes.
Once they were out of her home, they ended up convincing another neighbor.
"Normally it's blah blah blah, but I can give you a 30% discount because I am going to have product left from her house," said Vicky Dunstan.
Dunstan said the man also tried getting more money from her.
She paid them $180 in cash, for doing this poor job on her driveway.
Later that night, barmes reported the incident to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Barmes and Dunstan gave me the business card of the "company" called Tri-Sum Asphalt.
The first number was out of service, but when I called the second number someone picked up.
"Is Willy the owner of Tri-Sum Asphalt?"
"No I don't think so. Why?"
After asking him if I could speak to Willy, the phone call suddenly dropped and no one picked up the phone after I called multiple times.
"I want to warn other people that when someone approaches you like that, just comes up in your yard and you didn't call them, don't have anything to do with them. Especially if they start talking fast and you start feeling overwhelmed. You can bet you are being scammed," said Barmes.
Some signs to watch out for are selling door to door, no contract offered, cash only sales and claiming they have left- over material from other job.
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