River Valley falling victim to scammers

FOX24

"Sue, you have been scammed, you better call the cops"

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFTA) — The Barling Police Department is trying to track down a scammer taking advantage of people in the River Valley recovering from the recent storms.

“I try not to believe he done it ya’ know,” Suong “Sue” Phan said. “I told my husband he will come, he will come, but he never came.”

Sue Phan and her husband have lived in their home in Fort Smith for 28 years.

After the recent storms in the River Valley, the Phan family discovered a pesky leak coming from their roof.

“It was raining and it was leaking,” Phan said.

After searching on her iPad, Phan hired a man by the name of “Caesar” to come to fix her roof.

“He [Caesar] said my roof is bad and I need to call my insurance,” she said.

Phan said Caesar came to check it and asked for half of the estimated $5,000 to buy the materials he needed.

According to Phan, he told her he needed $2,500 and then changed it later to $3,000.

She said he told her he would call her when the materials arrived, so she wrote him the check.

A couple of days went by, and Phan texted Caesar to see when the materials would come in.

He told her he would call and bring them soon, but Phan waited for a call that never came.

“He wouldn’t text me back, ” she said. “I called him and he wouldn’t answer the phone.”

Metro Siding Roofing and More Sales Manager Jamie Sisson said there are a few steps you can follow to ensure what happened to the Phan family, doesn’t happen to you.

Sisson said some of those steps include asking the company for proof of insurance and proof of their contractor’s license.

“A good company should have those on hand and should be able to supply them to you,” he said.

He also said to never give money up-front just because they ask you to.

“Just make sure there is a legit reason for that,” he said.

Sisson said to always remember the old saying, “if it is too good to be true, it probably is.”

“If someone comes up to you and says, ‘I’ll do this job for way less than these other companies are doing it,’ there is a reason,” he said.

He said it is heartbreaking to see this happen because a lot of people, like Phan, are just unaware of what to watch out for.

“Now these people not only don’t have the money, but their roof is still going to be leaking and it’s unfair to them,” said Sisson.

“I feel so sad, my husband and I, we haven’t been able to sleep, we wake up and we are thinking… how stupid we are,” Phan said.

According to the Barling Police Department, Caesar didn’t only take advantage of Phan, he also took advantage of several other people.

Stay with FOX 24 News for updates as we follow this story.

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