Message from the Chief – Handy-Man & Contractor Scam – Residents in Aransas Pass are not free from the vulnerabilities of these types of crimes. In fact, we just completed a case on one husband & wife operation responsible for defrauding several within the Coastal Bend. Trust us, it’s easier to prevent these crimes than recover from them.
(Be sure to click on the images for helpful resources.)
From the Chief’s Chronicles
Crooks Going for Gold
Our elderly (65 and over) are 34% more likely to become a victim of fraud than other adults and they end up loosing more in these crimes. Criminals view the elderly as vulnerable and less likely to resist.
Not long ago, I investigated a case where the offender’s tree trimming business deceptively stole close to $80,000.00 cash from the elderly victim.
No pigs were harmed in the making of this informational posting.
Getting back to the topic, I found that this site provides some very brief but resourceful information. You may want to share with friends and loved ones.
The victim was conned into believing that her residential tree trimming needs and a few added side jobs would cost that amount. This con man deceptively tricked the victim into thinking she needed foundation repair and then rendered shoddy foundation work by pouring cement in a hole next to the foundation. This crook was such a good conn man, he had me fooled during the investigation. Long story short, this defrauding swindler was convicted and ordered to repay $66,000.00 in restitution.
Successful outcomes like this aren’t always the case. Elderly victims are far less likely to report the crime because they fear humiliation and troubling family members. Had it not been for her bank, this victim wouldn’t have reported the crime.[/one_half]
Charlatan’s Quick Fix
Not that long ago, I found my own family on the victim’s end of one of these scams. My mother, bless her heart, was seeking a person to do repairs on her house. Being the cop I am and with such limited handy-man skills, she looked to another source for help.
During her quest for an adept tradesman, she found a door repair service in the newspaper. This scammer, quick on his feet, pilfered my mother out of several hundred dollars up front. Appointments for work completion were made but never completed. Eventually, this fraudster quickly vanished, never to return and finish the job.
It appears this particular person still has information posted online as listed above. In fact, just from searching by the number listed, one can see others too whoo have experienced issues with this person.
In the end, my mother was out several hundred dollars. The happy ending to this story is both my mom and her son [me] quickly learned to appreciate all those honest, hard-working handy-men out there. The work was quite tedious!
Similarities among these two victims:
[icon_list icon=”fas fa-check-square” color=”#66CC00″]
- Lacked assertiveness
- Didn’t shop around
- Paid excessive up front costs
- Didn’t pay attention to suspicions
Similarities among these offenders:
[icon_list icon=”fas fa-thumbs-down” color=”#CC0000″]
- Used pressure & suggestive influence
- Demanded excessive up-front pay
- Lackadaisically excused work absence
- Requested more money
Done differently, might have protected victim:
[icon_list icon=”fas fa-lightbulb” color=”#0000FF”]
- Seek or check references
- Performed online searches
- If suspicious, inquire with local police
- Inquire with City’s building official
[highlight]Two key statements above[/highlight] – [highlight](1)[/highlight] We invite you to contact the Aransas Pass building official and check the status of the contractor/handy-man you plan to use. How does he rate with the city, is he licensed with the city, has he pulled proper permits for the work, etc. [highlight](2)[/highlight] If you suspect a scam, our officers want to do what they can to protect you and keep you from losing money. Please do not hesitate to call, 361-758-5224.
“We sincerely hope you find this information helpful. Our goal is not to issue out more citations or generate revenue for the City. Our goal is to work with our community by keeping everyone informed and aware of our public safety efforts. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please comment below, contact us here, or reach out to us on social media. Likewise, if there’s a topic you would like to see discussed, let me know.” -Chief