Elderly Eagle Rock couple taken by scammers

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An elderly Eagle Rock couple is out $1,400 after con artists pulled a roofing scam over the weekend.

The couple, in their mid- to late-80s, have been having health issues and the husband has been providing care for his wife for several weeks. He was out in his yard trying to take care of the lawn when he was approached by a man and a woman in a black truck that had a ladder on a rack.

The driver of the vehicle approached the elderly man and offered to seal his metal roof with a product that he said cost $28 per gallon.

"He was up on the roof between 30 and 45 minutes," said Shannon Wise, the couple's daughter. "He charged my father $1,400. That would have been over 50 gallons of the product, which appears to be nothing more than silver spray paint.

"My dad was in shock," Wise continued. "He wrote the check, but he was shocked at the amount."

Wise arrived at her parent's home at 6 p.m., only to find the banks closed for the evening.

"We got ahold of their bank the first thing the next morning, and the man had already cashed the check the day before," Wise said. "He drove straight to their bank in Eureka Springs to cash it."

The only paper given to the couple was a receipt from an easily obtained stationery or retail store. No business name, logo, contract or business card was offered to the victim.

Officials with the Barry County Sheriff's Department are investigating the incident. Local law enforcement is asking people, especially the elderly, not to allow strangers to offer services for home repairs.

The Barry-Lawrence chapter of Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the exploitation of this elderly couple. Calls may be made, toll-free, to 1-888-635-TIPS (8477). Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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