Elderly people are disproportionately victimized by fraud and identity theft. Criminals prey on the senior populations’ trusting kindness and their lack of computer and other technological skills. Have you ever received a call from a scammer trying to trick you into buying something or revealing your personal information? It happens all the time.
But now one scammer was caught red handed when he fell into a trap.
It all started when a group of elderly residents in Johnson City, Tennessee came together to accuse a plumber of scamming them out of almost $100,000. He offered terrible repair work and overcharged for services he hardly provided.
When Inside Edition learned about the fraud, they set up a house with cameras and called the scammer, Glenn Harris, for some repairs. Then they waited for him to try to rip them off…
An elderly woman named Carol was the first to report Glenn Harris as a scammer. She had called the plumber for a simple bathroom fix. But he kept working and working and then eventually charged her again and again for things she didn’t really need.
His services fees became so large, Carol was forced to take out a home equity loan to afford the bills. And to make things more difficult for her, Glenn Harris only wanted to be paid in cash. When Carol took out $7,000 in cash advances from her credit cards, she suffered a stroke and died shortly after.
“I believe the stroke was caused by stress,” her son told reporters. “And the only stress she had in her life at the time was Glenn Harris.”
After rigging up the house, Inside Edition called Harris to come fix a leak. Reporter Lisa Guerrero talks to Harris. He said he would be there at 9 am the next morning. Because they expected him to show, the group of victims waited in a van outside the home.
But Harris smelled the trap and did not appear.
“He’s a pathological liar,” one of his disgruntled customers said while waiting for the no-show.
After waiting for the handyman for four hours, Guerrero called Harris and he told her that he had gotten tied up. But then he promised to be there the next morning.
Guerrero enlisted the help of Emmy-award winning makeup artist Ben Adams to transform her into an elderly woman again. But then Harris blew off Inside Edition again.
“Three days in a row, he stood us up,” Guerrero said. Angry that her ploy wasn’t working, she jumped in the car with her camera crew and drove straight to his house.
Guerrero catches Harris out in his lawn. He approaches the “little old lady” with a sly look on his face. Then Guerrero rips off her mask and reveals that she is a national reporter. Harris is shocked.
“I’d like to know if you’re bilking elderly people in this community for thousands of dollars?”
“No ma’am, I’m not,” he claims.
The accused scam artist denied all the allegations and insists he operates a legal business. But can we trust him after nearly a dozen people claimed he did the opposite?
What do you think?
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