Investigators have busted a paving and roofing scam in Colorado that specifically targeted the elderly.
So far three men have been arrested in the case, including a father and son. Police are looking for two more involved in the scam.
The men are accused of traveling across the state as home contractors and taking advantage of people.
Police have arrested Rickey Gene Fite, his father Rickey Dean Fite and Rodney Jackson. Michael Sullivan and Emanuel Broadway have been indicted in the case, but police are still trying to find them.
According to the Colorado Attorney General, the men worked mainly in rural areas and neighborhoods in Arapahoe, Boulder, Delta, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray and Weld counties.
Authorities say they would approach homeowners and tell them they had extra asphalt or roofing materials leftover from another job, then offer them what seemed like a good deal.
However, authorities say the final price was always much higher and the work was terrible.
Authorities also say that when the homeowners would confront the men, they would sometimes become abusive.
This case falls under the Elder Abuse Law, which recently went into effect in Colorado. In fact, this is the first case the Colorado attorney general is prosecuting using this law.
The law states that seniors are legally considered to be at-risk adults, and people accused of taking advantage of them can face tougher penalties if convicted.
In this case, the men could face up to 24 years in prison if convicted of Criminal Attempt to Commit Criminal Exploitation of an At-Risk Elder. They are also facing several other charges, including laundering, felony theft and tax evasion.
The case will be prosecuted in Boulder District Court.
This type of scam can happen anywhere. To protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim, authorities say never be pressured into making an immediate decision on home repairs.
Also, before deciding on a contractor for major work get at least three bids from different contractors.
It's a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the company has any complaints against them.
Authorities also say to get a written contract that explains the quality and types of materials that will be used and when the work will be done.