Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller
has filed a lawsuit accusing C&C Tree Service of scamming at least 14 senior citizens by offering services that were overpriced, incomplete or not started at all.
The lawsuit filed in Marion County court claims the defendants developed a pattern of targeting the elderly. According to the lawsuit, they went door to door and offered discounted services ranging from landscaping, tree removal, tree trimming, chimney services, driveway repair and more.
The lawsuit accuses C&C Tree Service of demanding pay before work was ever done, lack of written contracts and overcharging. The lawsuit states an employee changed the payment on a check from $500 to $800 and cashing it. Another employee is accused of claiming he lost a check to get the customer to write him another one and then cashing them both.
The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and restitution.
“Home repair fraud continues to be one of the most common and, tragically, most successful scams perpetrated against Hoosiers,” Zoeller said. “People have to realize the risks they may be taking with contractors who come door-to-door and offer services right then and there.”
Zoeller offered a few tips to prevent scams like this from happening.
- Get multiple price quotes from different contractors.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office to see if complaints have been filed.
- Get a contract in writing.
- Never pay for the project in full up front nor more than one third of the total cost as down payment.