CHOCTAW, Okla. – Every time Dee Brazell pulls into her driveway, she gets a sick feeling.
She said, “I’ve worked all my life. I’m halfway intelligent. And then to let somebody do this to me. Like I said, it’s just been a nightmare to me that I could’ve been so dumb.”
Back in October, a man, who identified himself as Joey Cortez, knocked on Brazell’s door and said he’d fix her driveway for $48.
Brazell said, “He wanted to do this and put a sign in our yard because he was going to start a business in Oklahoma.”
She says Cortez and his brother spent about 30 minutes spraying tar on her driveway, then came in to collect payment.
Brazell said, “He came in and he said, ‘I have a gauge on my machine and I used 162 gallons at $48.’ And so I multiplied it out real quick on a piece of paper and I said, ‘That’s $7,000.’ He said, ‘Yeah.”
She ended up writing him a check for $3,000.
After being paid, the man told her that she would be able to drive on her new driveway in about two hours.
However, several hours later, her tires began to sink into the tar.
She called the bank to stop payment on the check but the man had already cashed it.
Brazell said, “For him to go straight to the bank, he’s definitely a con artist.”
Two months later, part of the driveway has disintegrated.
Joey Cortez has never answered Brazell’s calls and never came back to put that sign in the yard.
However, he answered our call when we dialed the 1-800 number on the invoice he gave Brazell.
He told us he didn’t know what we were talking about.
The man on the phone said, “You’ve got to be more detailed ma’am. I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”
He claimed he was not the one to work on the driveway.
Brazell says whether or not she gets her money back, she wants to save someone else the hassle of dealing with this man.
She said, “He’s more of a scam artist than what I thought he was. That he can lie so easily and deny, you know, that he was ever out here.”
We discovered an almost identical story from a news station in San Antonio back in May.
A man named Joey Cortez offered to fix a woman’s San Antonio driveway for very little money, then charged her more than she bargained for and did a poor job.
Brazell had another number for her repairman that had a San Antonio area code.
The man we called told us he’d look into the situation and give us a call back, but we never heard from him again.