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marialisa's avatar

I have been scammed by a man posing as a Class A Master Electrician, what can I do?

Asked by marialisa (464 points ) November 1st, 2010

It is a long story. I checked references and licensing of all estimates I received and this guy fell through the cracks.
I installed a kitchen in my lower level. I had 18 emails, a few calls and 2 quotes from this guy who said he was a Class A Master Electrician and heavily insured and bonded by his fathers insurance company.
He did the work of moving 2 outlets to above cabinet height and running an electrical wire from garage to lower level for 40 amp stove.
He completely did the outlets wrong and my contractor had to move them up for 100 dollars more.
I tried to call him to redo the outlets and the cell number was changed. He said he was heavily insured because his family was in the insurance business. I tracked down his father who is Vice President at an Insurance Broker Firm and he said he would contact him so he could call me. He was very nice and I explained I needed electrical work done.
In the meantime I found out the gauge wire was totally not to code and that it could melt and burn my home down. I then called the department of Labor and Industry and found out the guy wasn’t ever even an electrician only registered for low voltage and that had expired long ago.
Then I get a phone call from him. He says he has gotten my email messages and that he was on vacation, that I was very unproffessional about contacting his father and that if I contacted his father again I would be charged with harassment. he argued with me and then he hung up. I called his father and told him he said he was a Class A Master electrician and his father said I dont know why he would have told you that.
So then I get a call back from scammer and he says he was taping the call and that if I ever contact his father again I would be charged with harassment. I said good-then tape this-you have botched the electrical work, put in wire that could burn my house down and you falsely represented a Licensed Class A Master Electrician. Did you get all that?
Any way, I have to buy new expensive wire and hire a real electrician. I have started a complaint with Dept. of Labor and Industry and want to file consumer fraud charges.
What can I do to get restitution and get this scammer to stop before he harms people?
He is still advertising as a licensed and insured electrical contracter with Craigslist postings.

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9 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m sorry to hear about your problems. You have discovered by now that “saying” he has insurance and such is not any protection to you at all. At this point, your only recourse is to report him and his Craigslist Posting to the contractors license board, and try to find a lawyer who will represent you in court for a reimbursement of the payments you made. You will need receipts showing the payments you have made to him.

marialisa's avatar

@YARNLADY I asked for a receipt and he left and when I remembered it I emailed him and he emailed me back saying he forgot it and will drop it off. He never did. I paid cash but I have 2 estimates in attachments he sent and all emails to send with the complaint. He cost 413.00 and to move outlets up I had to 01000. Then for wiring again and labor to install wiring it will be up to 1,000 probably.
I have his full name and his address and correspondance about job etc. all saved and printed out.
I really want to get him for consumer fraud and get my money back etc. I am Pi$$ed!
Civil and criminal charges.

marialisa's avatar

@YARNLADY
Sorry, I had to pay an extra $100.00 for the raising up of outlets.

YARNLADY's avatar

@marialisa Keep every written record you have of any sort, including all e-mail messages. That will be your evidence to take him to court.

marialisa's avatar

@YARNLADY
He conveniently forgot receipt and I emailed him and he said he would be back by 5 to drop it off. At least I have it documented that he did work.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
weeveeship's avatar

Report him to the BBB.

marialisa's avatar

@weeveeship
@YARNLADY
Why isnt this criminal and the guy gets jail time and a record?

marialisa's avatar

@weeveeship @YARNLADY
I filed a lengthy complaint against Mr. Scammer with the Department of Labor and Industry for my state.
They sent what they call a 10-day letter to Mr. Scammer.
He has until February 14, 2011 to respond to the letter.
As an unlicensed entity, he is responsible for “securing the services” (hiring) of a properly licensed electrical contractor to file a permit with the City, review all Mr. Scammers work performed in my home, make any corrections per the National Electrical Code, and arrange for an inspection. This is all at the expense of Mr. Scammer.
If Mr. Scammer responds to the 10-day letter in a timely manner and is cooperative, they will provide him with the opportunity to settle this informally, by creating a Consent Order that he would sign off on and agree to. If he hasn’t hired a contractor by the time he responds, then one of the terms in the Consent Order would indicate a “deadline” date within which to do so. In addition, another term of the Consent Order would be the payment of a monetary civil penalty assessed against him. Usually they indicate a particular dollar amount with a certain amount “stayed”. Let’s just say, for example, it’s a $5000 fine with a $4000 stayed. That means he must pay a $1000 penalty up front, and if they catch him performing electrical work or offering to perform electrical work or if he commits any other violations of the States Electrical Act within the next three years, he will have to pay the additional $4000.
Mr. Scammer may decide not to respond to the 10-day letter. If that’s the case, then they will issue him an Administrative Order, which is usually more heavy-handed with a higher monetary civil penalty assessment than what the Consent Order would have indicated. The Admin Order offers him 30 days within which to file for a hearing. If he fails to request a hearing, then the Order stands “as is”. If there is a monetary civil penalty included in the Admin Order that he fails to pay, they then refer this to the County for a judgment against him. Once they receive a judgment at the county level, they refer the case to the State Collection Enterprise, which is housed at the Department of Revenue. The understanding is, if Mr. Scammer does not cooperate with the Dept of Revenue, they have the authority to: (a) file a lien against any property he owns; (b) garnishee his wages; and/or© collect the penalty monies from any tax returns he files.

I wonder what he will do…he will get first letter soon!

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