94-year-old Indianapolis woman falls victim to home repair fraud

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 5, 2015) -- A 94-year-old Indianapolis woman was ripped off by a group of home repair frauds. Police say the elderly victim got scammed out of nearly $5,000 for home repairs that never got done.

The victim, who lives near East 86th Street and Westfield Boulevard, wanted to have the cracks in her driveway sealed and a large tree cut down.

She even paid a group of so called repairmen $3,000, but the work never got done.

“When you work and save your money, you hate for someone to just take it away,” said Jean, who asked we not use her last name.

A few weeks later, the suspects returned to Jean’s home and demanded another $1,500 to complete the work.

Jean wrote a second check, but a nearby bank refused to cash it.

The suspects then returned to Jean’s door again and she wrote a third check for $1,500 which the suspects were able to cash.

“Sometimes I wonder how I could be so dumb and not catch on to things, you know?” said Jean. “I’ll be 95 soon so I don’t have the memory I did, I know that.”

A sign posted by the victim’s daughter on the front door now warns the scam artists to stay away. The victim hopes her story serves as a warning for others to be smart.

“They pick on old people that don’t take time to think things through you know,” said Jean.

“Often times we see people preying on the elderly,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer Chris Wilburn.

Police say the case is a reminder to every homeowner that it’s almost always best to pay for home repairs only after the work has been done.

“Don’t pay in full for work that hasn’t been completed,” said Wilburn. “In this case she went on good faith and they said they would do work on the home and they didn’t.”

“I don’t believe in getting money from people for no reason. They didn’t earn it and they don’t deserve it,” said Jean. “It makes you mad to think there are people that want to do that.”

Police say so far no arrests have been made in the case, but it will be sent to the district attorney to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

 

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