Did this local ‘handyman’ offer to help you with home repairs?

Posted at 12:42 AM, Jan 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-22 07:24:25-05

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. – Colonial Heights Police are investigating after multiple homeowners were grifted by a man on the city’s Facebook Classified ads section. Juanita Saunders was new to the Colonial Heights area and needed some work done on her home. To find someone to fix some issues, she logged into the Colonial Heights Classifieds on Facebook.

"I simply said ‘I need some work done around my house,’ and I described the work I needed," said Saunders.

She said it didn't take long before she got a response from a man who said he was willing to help.

"He came to my house every day, bringing me samples, asking me to agree on them," she said.

Saunders said the man wanted some money up front before he completed the job. She said she agreed to pay him $280 and then see how things progressed.

"I gave him the check, he was supposed to get the floor, and I have no floor," said Saunders.

She said since she paid him, she hasn't seen him and the contact with him has been at a minimum.

Out of frustration, Saunders said she posted what happened to her on the classifieds section Tuesday.

"My phone was blowing up so bad, me and the police couldn't even have a conversation," she said.

Saunders said by Wednesday morning she had 177 comments from people who had similar issues with the man.

"They said I have been scammed by him, one gentleman wrote up there, my friend has been scammed by him," she said.

Tom Gallagher with the Better Business Bureau said there are ways to prevent becoming a victim.

"Make sure you have a contract that spells out everything that's going to be done," he said.

The Colonial Heights Police Department spokesman said the department is investigating the complaints.

The man who Saunders claimed scammed her spoke to CBS 6 reporter Chelsea Rarrick by phone Wednesday night. He had no comment about the allegations.



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