Azle woman scammed out of almost $10,000

06/04/2014 1:09 PM

06/04/2014 1:10 PM

Parker County authorities warned residents Wednesday about two con artists in the area after an 89-year-old Azle woman was scammed out of almost $10,000 late last week.

The workers posed as electric company employees and told the woman that she needed to replace wiring in her attic, then charged her $9,818.40, Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said Wednesday.

After they left and she contacted authorities, deputies checked the house and found no new wiring.

“These men heartlessly and knowingly took advantage of the victim,” Fowler said in a news release. “This has to be one of the lowest acts in my book.”

The sheriff posted a warning on the department’s website to alert residents to the con.

The men arrived at the woman’s home May 29, one identifying himself as “Gregory Long” and saying he was with her electric company. She described him as white, about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, clean-shaven with dark blond hair. He was accompanied by an unidentified man in his 20s who posed as his assistant.

The woman told deputies that the men informed her that the electric company had received a “sensor” indicating that she had a “short” in her home wiring.

The men did not have a work order, agreement or any form of paperwork, deputies said.

Still, they walked into the home, bringing with them a roll of wire to further convince the victim of their scheme, Fowler said. The men went to the attic, where they told her that squirrels had chewed through some wiring. One showed the woman a frayed wire to corroborate the story.

The men stayed in her home about 45 minutes, then charged the woman for their work, deputies said. They left in a white and chrome 4-wheel-drive pickup.

After the men left, the woman contacted officials at her electric company who told her that they had no work order at her home and that no employees had been sent there.

The woman then called deputies, who checked the house.

Fowler said the woman tried to stop payment on the check, but it had already been cashed.

“Family members should warn their loved ones of schemes such as these, so they are not victimized,” Fowler said. “I cannot imagine how two men could bring themselves to take money from a senior citizen or unsuspecting potential victim.”

Anyone with information on the suspects in the electric company case should call the Parker County Sheriff’s Department at 817-594-8845.

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