Fake roofers scam Portland seniors

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by Erica Heartquist

KING5.com

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

PORTLAND -- Police are looking for two men who preyed on senior citizens, scamming them out of thousands of dollars.

The suspects pretended to work for a roofing company, told the unsuspecting victims they needed roof work done, got their cash and took off, police said.

Police said there were two roofing scams in one inner southeast Portland neighborhood in just one week and between the two cases, the suspects made off with more than $1500.

"These people can't be out taking advantage of senior people," said 74-year-old Jean Matocha.

Matocha said a regular day in June turned into a nightmare when two men came knocking on her door. Her husband opened the door and the men let themselves in acting like they'd met the Matocha's before.

"They said, 'Hi, it's been a long time since we've seen you' " Matocha said.

Matocha said the men commented that there was a bubble in the chimney and there must be water leaking upstairs.

"The older one went upstairs first and then I went upstairs and then the younger one. When I got up there, there was water all over the place," Matocha said.

Looking back now, Matocha thinks the older man dumped water on her floor to look like a leak. But at the time, Matocha thought she needed her roof repaired. The men said it was going to be $7500 to fix it.

"He said, 'Now you go in the bank and don't say anything, but I don't want them to see me because they might know that I work for this other company and I'm working under the table,' "Matocha said.

She and her husband gave them the money and the men took off, never doing any work, because as it turns out the roof was just fine.

They're not alone.

Just a few streets away, Portland Police said the two men did the same thing to an 89-year-old handicapped man. In that case, police said the man was cheated out $8200.

"It's the kind of thing that police officers got into this business to do; to stop predators like this from taking advantage of people," said Sgt. Pete Simpson with Portland Police Bureau.

Police said in both cases, the "roofers" gave a phony number when they left.

Matocha hopes you can help catch them.

"I'd like them caught," she said.

All we know about the suspects is that both are white men and clean-cut. One man is in his mid 40s and the other is in his mid 20s.They were driving a new four-door white pickup truck.

If you know anything about these cases, call the Portland Police Bureau.

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