On Your Side: Roofing Scams in Lee County

Bishopville, SC (WLTX) -- Scammers in Lee County may be approaching elderly people with the promise of roofing repairs.

One man is now out $800 because of the scam, something law enforcement said could start happening more often as we move into summer.

"He said I wouldn't have to do nothing (sic) more to that roof," 80-year-old Helton Abraham said of the men he said approached him Monday afternoon.

They are described as white males, according to an incident report supplied by the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Abraham has lived in his home for close to 40 years and has had to work on his roof once, so at 80-years-old, when the two men approached him saying they would work on his roof and give him a lifetime guarantee, he thought it was a deal worth taking.

"I was sitting here, and that boy pulled up over here, and come (sic) here and tell me (sic) he would do the job for $200, I think."

But according to Abraham, $200 quickly became $1,200. He didn't have all the cash, so his son was asked to bring the rest.

Abraham's son Charles Williams said he spoke to one of the men on the phone, said he would be there shortly with the remaining $400, but when he arrived, the men had left.

"I got over here in about four minutes because I wasn't far away," Williams said.

"From what we've seen here, (it's) the typical work of them - spraying the roof with some type of dark chemical," said Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon. "We've seen it in the past, but this is the first reportable one we've had in the County so far this year."

It's one of the oldest scams in the book, but Simon says it's still easy to fall for.

"They normally target senior citizens and elderly people, and this is what we have here, out in the rural areas, where law enforcement is not real relevant at," Simon said.

It's something Abraham said he's never seen before, but won't be forgetting either.

The Lee County Sheriff's Department is investigating.


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