Sheriff Warns Public of Scams – June 4, 2014.
JUNE 4, 2014.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler is sending out a precautionary warning to the public concerning con-artists, after an 89-year-old Azle woman was scammed out of nearly $10,000, late last week.
Sheriff Fowler said a male in his early 40s approached the woman’s residence in the 1600 block of South Stewart Street, identifying himself as “Gregory Long,” saying he was associated with the victim’s electric company. The suspect was described as a white male, 5’10” to 6-feet tall, clean shaven, with dark blond hair. “Long” was also accompanied by an unidentified 20-year-old male, who posed as Long’s assistant.
The men told the victim they received a “sensor,” from her electric company, stating she had a “short,” within the wiring of her home.
The victim was deceived into allowing the men into her home, where they told her squirrels had chewed through her wiring in the attic, which needed to be replaced.
Long then showed the victim a frayed wire to corroborate his fictional story.
The suspects brought a roll of wire into the woman’s residence, further convincing the victim of their scheme.
The men remained at the victim’s residence about 45 minutes, then charged the victim $9,818.40.
The suspects did not leave or display a work order, agreement or any form of paper work.
The suspects were reported to have been driving a white and chrome 4-wheel drive pickup.
After the suspects left the residence, the victim contacted her electric company, which relayed to her that the company did not have any such work order and no representatives were sent to her home.
The victim contacted the Parker County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene but were unable to locate any new work or wiring done on the victim’s residence.
The victim attempted to stop payment of the check at her bank, but the check had already been cashed.
A neighbor of the victim reported seeing the same suspects at her residence prior to arriving at the victim’s home. The neighbor said the suspects told her they were representatives from her electric company, performing work in the area and her electric may shut off briefly while they performed their work.
“These men heartlessly and knowingly took advantage of the victim,” Sheriff Fowler said. “Family members should warn their loved ones of schemes such as these, so they are not victimized. I cannot imagine how two men could bring themselves to take money from a senior citizen or unsuspecting potential victim. This has to be one of the lowest acts in my book.”
Anyone with information of the identification of the suspects is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately at (817) 594-8845.
Sheriff Fowler added other forms of similar crimes have been reported in previous years pertaining to suspects fraudulently posing as driveway pavers, asphalt sealers, concrete workers, roofers, etc. Fowler said although this incident has been the first of its kind recently, he does not believe this is the first time the suspects have attempted it.
“Before any work is done in or around your property, residence or yard – contact the company and verify the representatives, insist on receiving a work order in writing on letterhead and demand that the representatives provide proper identification,” Fowler said.