Elderly couple loses $5,000 to blacktop scam

An elderly Mishawaka couple is out $5,000 after falling victim to a blacktop scam.

On Monday, two men came to their home on Dragoon Trail and offered to blacktop their driveway for $540. They also wanted to put a sign in the front yard to advertise their services.

Loving a good deal, the man of the house agreed.

The two men spent about an hour working on the driveway, then demanded the residents pay up. But the workers insisted the couple owed them more than the $540 price they initially were quoted.

“After they got done, they said that was just the labor,” said Juergen Siebert, the couple’s son. “They said we need $3,700 for one coating – but, by the way, we had to do two coats so it's going to be $7,400.”

The couple didn’t have that much money on them, but handed over $5,000 cash. The men left before the couple could get a receipt.

When they told their son what happened, he decided to check out the job himself.

“The treatment is basically a coating of black paint,” he said. “There's no thickness to it whatsoever. Any crack in the asphalt, it's still there. Nothing's covered. The coloring is the only thing that's changed.”

Siebert’s parents have lost thousands of dollars.

While it’s unlikely they’ll get that money back, they’re hoping the people who took it from them will be caught.

“Dad just feels very upset over it and he feels just violated,” Siebert said. “And I don't like to see him that way. If they do this to somebody else, it could actually put them in the ground, give them a heart attack. These people need to be locked up, put away, make sure they don't do it to anyone else.”

Siebert says the people who scammed his parents were both heavyset, white males in their mid-30s.

They drove a light-colored pickup truck with all of their equipment in the back.

People who've had the scammers show up at their homes should call St. Joseph County police at 574-235-9611 to file a report.

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