Elderly woman ripped off by contractor in Festus

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FESTUS, MO (KTVI)-- The 88-year-old woman doesn't have a lot of money.  And now she's worried she won't be able to supplement her income.   Evelyn Carter has lived in the Festus area all of her life.  The house next door to hers belonged to a now deceased relative.   It needs lots of work.  So Ms. Carter hired a guy to fix it up so that she could rent it out.  She expected him to do the following:  "Put new floors down, and put linoleum down and do things like that in the house."

The proposal also calls for a new kitchen sink and counter top.  Cabinets would be primed and painted, a new toilet and vanity for the bathroom.  And he was going to replace the front and rear doors.  The total cost was supposed to be $3,800.00.  But Carter says she gave him a down payment.

"I paid him $2,600.00,  and later on I was supposed to pay... that was more than a third, I mean that was more than half of it," she said.

She's frustrated because she wrote that check on Aug. 29th.  But what confuses us and Mrs. Carter is the man she thought she was hiring asked her to make the check out to a sub-contractor.   "It`s a mess ain`t it?  I guess I just shouldn`t have gave him the money.  I didn`t know," she stated in frustration.

We went to two addresses looking for both men.  We didn't locate them.  But I did speak with the  sub- contractor on the phone.   And he claims he thought the work would be done by the contractor.  He simply wrote up the proposal, cashed the check and turned over the money.

Mrs. Carter says she can`t handle this disappointment.  "I have high blood pressure and stuff like that.  I try to not let it get to me, worry me where I`ll have a stroke or anything like that, just real involved.   I just had to let it go," she said.

We'll continue to follow this for Ms. Carter.  Remember be sure you know the contractor's reputation before you pay him.  And you never want to pay any more than a third before the job, another third at the halfway point and the final third upon completion.

Tips from the Better Business Bureau 

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