ARCADIA, Fla. - A contracting company is accused of duping a 93-year-old lady. The woman says they name-dropped a company she had used before to convince her to get roof work done. Her neighbor, upset at what happened, called WINK News Call for Action to get help.
Sara Shotts says her friend and neighbor, Virginia Brown, got ripped off while trying to care for her dying husband. She's known Virginia and her husband, Harold Brown, for 20 years and says she's not happy a contractor targeted her friends.
Sara says it all happened while she was on vacation. When she got home, Sara stopped by to check on Virginia.
"Mr. brown was in hospice and I came over and we just were basically talking and she mentioned that she had to pay $5,000 to have the roof cleaned and I sort of said, 'what on the earth are you talking about?' "
Mrs. Brown told Sara that it started with a phone call.
"She explained to me that these people had called her and told her that they were from Weatherproof which is the company that did her roof," Sara tells WINK.
But the contracting company was not with Weatherproof, the company that does work on her home. The men who called Virginia were from Trinity Project Management Group.
Mrs. Brown didn't want to appear on camera but told Call for Action they told her she had mold on her roof.
"They're telling her, this is going to make you and your husband sick, it's going get in your house. You know when you're sitting here with an ill husband, already, and you're thinking if this gets in here and makes me sick, who's going to take care of him?" Sara explains.
And after talking the men down from $8,000 to $5,000, Mrs. Brown agreed to get the job done. But Sara says the work they did wasn't worth the money and wants to see her friend get a refund.
"It should be $4,999 because as far as I'm concerned, I could have went to the store and bought a gallon of bleach and washed the roof myself for less than a dollar," she says.
Sara called the owner of Trinity Project Management and confronted him about mentioning the other roofing company's name.
"He said they never said that. They never represented someone else," Sara tells us.
When we called the owner of Trinity, he told us over the phone that he wasn't there and has no idea what was said to Mrs. Brown.
"My response is to call him back and tell him exactly what I think of him but I know that won't do any good. He's just trying to cover his own behind; he doesn't really care about the fact that he took advantage of a lady and it makes me mad," Sara explained.
The owner of Trinity claims he asked his workers and suppliers to refund some of Mrs. Brown's money but they refused and there's nothing else he can do. Meanwhile, the DeSoto Sheriff's Office is investigating.