02/24/05 — Sheriff's office warns of home improvement scam

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Sheriff's office warns of home improvement scam

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on February 24, 2005 1:46 PM

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office has received reports about a home-improvement scam.

A southern county resident reported that he had paid $400 to have work done on his lightning rods. When he checked the work, he found that little had been done.

The suspect used the name James Gorman and said he installed lightning rods on homes for Robins Lightning Protection Co. He was described as a white man, 40 to 50 years old, 5-feet-7 to 5-9 with a medium build. He drove a white Dodge pickup truck and produced a Robins Lightning Protection flyer, but the toll-free telephone number was for Quality and Capital Lightning Protection of Raleigh.

A representative with Quality and Capital Lightning Protection said the company does not have an employee with the name James Gorman and it does not serve residential customers. But it has received calls from North and South Carolina citizens about the scam.

Sheriff Carey Winders says the con artist may be a members of the "Travelers," a group of families that move about the country and attempt home improvement scams. Among the scams are shingle replacement or roof repair, driveway paving or patching, painting and lightning rod repair and replacement.

More information on such scam attempts can be found at www.fraudtech.bizland.com/travelers.htm.

Anyone who has been contacted about these scams is asked to call Sheriff's Detective Thomas Flores Jr.