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Contractor and customers experience 2-sided fraud

A contractor and a number of property owners were recently the victims of fraud after a man used the contractor's name and license number to allegedly steal money from homeowners. According to reports, the man allegedly used the legitimate contractor's name when selling services to homeowners -- services that he failed to perform.

The man had access to the contractor's license number, which means he appeared legitimate to homeowners and others. In one case, using the contractor's name, the man quoted a job to a woman. He created a contract and said that he needed $5,000 up front to start the job.

The woman reports that he texted her, stating he needed the money in cash and would not except a check. She paid him, and he began work on the property. She states that he worked for two days but did not get much done. He also asked for more money during that time, which she provided.

After that, the man left and did not return. The woman's family attempted to find the man but were unable to contact him. When they searched for information using his contractor's license, they discovered that the license number belonged to another man.

The legitimate contractor reported that the man had taken his name and license number and worked the same fraud scheme on others. Both the property owners and the contractor are considered victims of the fraud.

Individuals in many areas use contracting and construction needs as a door to fraud schemes, especially in emergency or natural disaster situations where people can't afford to wait for work. If you have experienced fraud or even breach of contract by a legitimate contractor, you have rights and there are legal remedies for ensuring work is done correctly or you receive your money back -- sometimes with additional payment for damages.

Source: Fox 5, "Construction contractor accused of fraud, identity theft," Maria Arcega-Dunn, Oct. 22, 2015

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