DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Ten weeks after Albany was hit by a devastating wind storm, some homeowners are still dealing with the damage. One woman is not only dealing with a damaged roof, she's out of thousands after paying a fraudulent contractor.
Patricia Sibley said in February she paid that contractor upfront to make repairs to her roof.
"So he wrote up this proposal to do a three year on labor, and a 25 year on the roof for a roof replacement and the third thing was he was going to do it in 72 hours," Sibley said.
Sibley said that was a three-day promise that was never fulfilled. Its been more than a month since she signed that contract and the job has not been completed. She said she paid the contractor $3,500 upfront, more than half of the total the company required.
It wasn't long before she realized she had made a terrible mistake.
"I had to get other people to call him because he wouldn't pick up. That's when I got really weary and I got frustrated," she said.
Now she's sharing her story to stop others from making the same mistake.
"Yeah I'm a grown woman. Yeah I should have made a better decision. And it's embarrassing that this happened to me, and I'm ashamed to come forward but I don't want nobody to give any money upfront," she said.
Those wise words are echoed by the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office. Chief Investigator Craig Dodd said if you do lose money to a scammer, take action.
"Do not let it drop," he said.
"Keep a log of every conversation that you've had with them as well as law enforcement."
As for Sibley, she's making sure to do exactly that as she works to get her money back. She said she's learned her lesson the hard way and has this simple word of advice for others.
"If your gut ain't right, there's something there that ain't right. And you go with it because you can't fool yourself like that."
Officials remind storm victims to use local companies and to check their business license before hiring them to do any work.