A 75-year-old New Berlin woman is out hundreds of dollars and nothing to show for it after she fell for a cheaper deal to fix her driveway.
Renate Schmidt said she was recently working in her yard when three men approached her offering to repair the cracks in her concrete driveway.
“He said he would do this all for $300. I thought what a deal!” said Schmidt.
Schmidt asked what company they were with but she said one of them distracted her, asking her to talk with the other workers.
She wasn’t getting answers but decided to agree and pay up front in cash.
And then they started working, pouring concrete on a section of her driveway that didn’t need to be repaired.
“I didn’t even want this done! But he says, “I’ll show how nice it looks,”’said Schmidt.
Before she could ask more questions, she said the men asked for a drink.
“I said 'of course' so I went in and got three cans of soda and I came back out to give it to the man. They were down on the street with the truck all three of them and he said 'Gotta go, gotta go! My wife had a heart attack!'"
In only 15 minutes, Schmidt said she was out $300. New Berlin police sees these home repair scams every so often.
“They’ll say they’re in the neighborhood, they were working on a neighbor’s driveway, they have some leftover, they have some material leftover just enough to do yours, we’ll give you a great price,” said Captain Mike Glider.
Glider advises homeowners to be suspicious of contractors who come to you offering work.
“I’m very very sad that people do this to elderly people,” Schmidt said.
Renate Schmidt is still out her $300 and unfortunately she didn’t get a license plate, or any pictures of the scammers, so tracking them down, she knows is unlikely. She just hopes someone else will learn from her financial loss.
“Never, ever do what I let them do,” said Schmidt.