Greensboro, NC -- Two men from Rocky Mount, NC are in the Guilford County Jail, charged with home repair fraud. Investigators said the men targeted an elderly woman on Wicker Street.
Officers received a call around 11:30am in reference to fraud involving an elderly female. The victim told them she was working in her yard when she was approached by a white male who told here there was a problem with her chimney. She said he then offered to repair the damage for $15. The suspect and another male began work on the chimney, during which they tore a hole in her roof.
The man told the woman that the damage was worse than he originally believed and that the cost was $1,200 to complete the repairs. The victim called her son who came to to the home and called police.
Patrol officers arrested Cedric Renwood Pierce, 57, and Randall Scott Weeks, 38, on outstanding warrants. According to investigators, both men are from the Rocky Mount area and are employed by BRM Construction Company. Pierce was also charged with Exploitation of the Elderly, Malicious Damage and Obtaining Property by False Pretense.
Greensboro Police Detective R.M. Steed with the Fraud Squad makes the following suggestions when it comes to home repair:
- Never buy anything on impulse, especially from someone who shows up on your door for a home repair you didn't even know you needed.
- Be especially careful of any door to door contractor whose vehicle bears out of state license plates.
- If anyone shows up at your home and states that they are some type of an inspector beware. Remember that a legitimate, government, inspector will have credentials and must show them on request. A real inspector will not try to sell you anything. If you are suspicious tell them that you are going to check them out with the police. If they aren't legitimate they will likely leave.
- When making a decision to have any home repair made take the time to think. Don't allow yourself to be rushed into a poor decision.
- Fraud suspects often tell the potential victim that they are "working on their own" and will express concerns such as "not wanting the boss to find out". This is done to make the victim think that they are going to get a good deal on the repair being pushed by the offender.
- Remember to use the Better Business Bureau before hiring any contractor.
- For large jobs always consider getting more than one estimate and choose the one you feel the most comfortable with.
- Don't sign any certificate of completion unless you are satisfied with the work performed.
- Always consider getting a friend or family member involved in the process of deciding on a home repair. If it is a large job consider calling a lawyer and an architect.
- If an unsolicited contractor shows up at your home indicating that you need some home repair, and you feel intimidated, call the police. An honest contractor should never have you in a position to feel intimidated in your own home.
Detectives are still investigating and is asking anyone with If information about this crime or similar crimes to call the Greensboro Police Department's Fraud Squad at 373-2255 or CrimeStoppers at 373-1000.
WFMY News 2/GPD