Friday, April 15 2011
It's a sign of the season: outdoor home improvement scams. Police say as the temps warm up, the fraud cases pile up.
False promises cost an Evansville woman thousands after she agreed to hand over checks to a local contractor.
Door-to-door scams often begin with a stranger knocking at your front door, but not this time.
Instead, Dorothy Elzer says it was a familiar face. "Seems like I had known him," said the 86-year-old woman. Elzer says she had seen the contractor around her neighborhood doing work for others.
He pointed out a roofing problem. "Well, he said if I didn't get it fixed it would be leaking."
She was sold and agreed to hire the apparent handyman to repair her roof. Elzer says she can't write as well as she used to, so she handed over several blank checks to pay for the supplies and labor.
They negotiated a price, but it wasn't the $6,000 now missing out of her account.
Elzer says was never given any receipts detailing the completed work or supplies purchased. Evansville Police officers are now working this as a theft and home improvement fraud case.
"Some checks had been written for roofing that was never performed for the house," says Karen Kajmowicz, EPD Public Information Officer.
She says investigators have a person of interest they're looking for, but aren't identifying any names just yet. Police reports list Thrifty Roofing & Construction as the listed company.
"We're working on a few different leads so there's a possibility we'll be able to find out who this was," Kajmowicz says.
NEWS 25 contacted Thrifty Roofing. The phone line appears to be disconnected.
Police caution everyone to ask for references before agreeing to any door-to-door salesman work.