Woman Warns Others After Being Taken By Home Repair Scam
A North Columbus woman said she thought she had come across an ideal situation when she struck a deal with two men claiming to work for a reputable company, and willing to do the work for a discount.
But when the men took her money and never performed the work, the 72-year-old suspected she had become the victim of a scam.
10TV is not identifying the victim because she said she fears the suspects may try to retaliate against her for speaking out.
"They had been working in the neighborhood, and they were also sub-contractors for a very reputable company here in Columbus," she said.
The woman said the suspects provided her with fliers and a business card. The men promised to do some painting and repairs at a fraction of the going rate.
"And they told me that they were full-time sub-contractors, and they would moonlight, and because we didn't have to go through the big company - their costs would be a lot less," said the woman.
She provided a hand-written contract which both parties signed, and she gave the men half the money upfront - $560.
The men returned and did about an hour or two of work in late May. She said that she has not seen them since.
10TV attempted to reach their alleged company, America Restoration Services, but the business address is located at a northwest Columbus apartment complex where no one answered the door.
There is no record of the business with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the Ohio Secretary of State, and the Better Business Bureau.
The woman, who is out of nearly $600 and the home repairs, has now called for a criminal investigation.
"I went under good faith," she said. "Somebody has to be held accountable. In all of these situations, somebody must be held accountable."
The Better Business Bureau said these scammers are increasingly targeting older neighborhoods, where they prey on the sympathies of the elderly.
They said you should always initiate home repairs and not the other way around. That should have been the first red flag in this case, according to officials.
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