News

HomeAdvisor sent a Felon to my house and he tried to scam me.

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by kenneyd, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. kenneyd

    kenneyd Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2014
    1,140
    NE FL
    Full Name:
    Ken
    HomeAdvisor sent a Felon to my house and he tried to scam me.

    This is my story of an experience using HomeAdvisor's services and subsequently the convicted felon they sent to my house in florida. My hope is that readers will become aware of the both the danger of using Homeadvisor's so called "pre-screened" contractors, and to be able to protect their families from criminals who are attempting to scam you..

    I used Homeadvisor.com to find a contractor to pave my driveway. HomeAdvisor's website caught my attention with claims listed all over their website "Screened and approved" "verified" Trusted pros" "back ground checks" etc. It sounded great, I was relieved and comforted to know these people were trustworthy and highly rated.
    I filled out a questionnaire, clicked some buttons and Homeadvisor quickly linked me up with appointments for estimates with a few paving contractors. I chose "Joe" from FLA asphalt LLC based on his promptness, competitive price and his 5 star reviews on homeadvisor. I signed a contract, and FLA Asphalt began work on the morning of 2/12/18.
    FLA asphalt began removing my old gravel driveway with a tractor. After 2 hours of work the Paving machine arrived and "Joe" Nicely asked for a 50% deposit, explaining how he had been apparently screwed by people not paying. I was hesitant, but in my mind, I was comforted by all of HomeAdvisors claims of safe, vetted contractors which ultimately caused me to let me guard down. I wrote a check and Joe left for 20mins, (I found out later to cash the check). I remained present on the job site as the crew continued to work for another hour, although not really accomplishing anything. The driveway was now a mess, and far from being ready for paving and Joe put the tractor back on the trailer. I asked the crew when the steam roller was coming. Something wasn't right, so I did not let Joe out of my sight. Joe then approached me and said he was "not going to do the job" I asked why, and he refused to give any explanation. Joe handed me a bank envelope with my deposit in cash and he and his crew quickly sped away with Pennsylvania and Virginia plates on their trucks.
    I was struggling for answers, what just happened? And why did they give the money back? but then it dawned on me, Joe and his crew left right after they discovered my security camera. Also my wife also took pictures of our kids watching them go by on the tractor, my neighbor chatted with them and I followed Joe around like a puppy. I have a few scenarios in my head, but the only plausible one is this was a failed scam and Joe thought there was to much risk of getting caught and identified.

    I called HomeAdvisor on Monday afternoon explaining the situation and asking for the full name Joe from FLA asphalt. They representative could not tell me the name! I told the rep she needed to remove FLA asphalts profile and email all the people they sent leads to.
    The next day I was able to get Joe's information on the check from my bank. "Joseph Croughin". A quick google search reveals he is a convicted felon, fresh off of probation with a large list of crimes including grand theft ,burglary, underage drinking, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. My heart sank, my wife cried. How could I have let my guard down and put my family in danger? What gave me so much confidence in Joe? One answer, HomeAdvisor.

    With this new information I called the police and filed a report. I then called HomeAdvisor again and was transferred to a manager, Charles. Charles said all the things you would expect, "this isn't what homeadvisor stands for" "Sorry", "we will do everything to resolve this". Charles told me that they did the background check on a "James White" who is the registered name on the LLC. What became obvious is that HomeAdvisor has no protection against criminals who are out to scam you. Charles even told me "that they're bad people out there and we all need to look out" (paraphrasing), but isn't that exactly the product what homeadvisor is selling? Safe, screened contractors? An investigation is underway, but it appears felon Joseph Croughin is impersonating a deceased James white, allowing him to register FLA asphalt LLC and pass any so called protections homeadvisor claims. As of today, 2/14/2018, FLA asphalt LLC is still active on Homeadvisor's website, so Homeadvisor is still sending this felon to your families homes.

    The manager from Homeadvisor made a comment to the effect of, homeadvisor isn't the bad guy, the scammer was. But Homeadvisor failed to adequately screen this "company", HomeAdvisor scheduled him to come to my house, HomeAdvisor's claims built a false sense of trust that ultimately effected all my decision making.
    I hold Homeadvisor responsible.

    I realize I am in a unique situation in the scam since my money was returned to me. The monetary damage is Joe scraped off 400 feet of millings off my driveway that will need to be replace. There is emotional damage, My wife feels unsafe and violated. For me it make me sick to think Joseph Croughin is still out there doing this to other people. I am 100% confident that if my wife was home alone and we didnt have the camera, Joe would have been long gone with the money. Beware of these scams, Beware of homeadvisor, do not trust them.


    Homeadvisor profile https://www.homeadvisor.com/rated.FlaAsphaltLLC.70046242.html

    LLC reg he is likely impersonating under "James White" https://www.flbusinessgo.com/gg?utm_term=L17000222158

    James white obituary died in 2017? http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesunion/obituary.aspx?n=james-white&pid=187504801&fhid=10626

    mug shot https://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/Joseph_Croughin_7236670/

    News article http://westorlandonews.com/suspects-busted-in-travelers-undercover-operation/

    Polk county sting: http://www.polksheriff.org/NewsRoom/News%20Releases/Pages/01-15-2012PolkCountySheriff%E2%80%99sOfficeDetectivesGoUndercovertoCatchTravelingScamArtist.aspx

    other arrest http://eastpenn.thelehighvalleypress.com/2012/10/10/state-police
     
    Texas Forever likes this.
  2. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

    Feb 1, 2011
    1,853
    1. If the guy gave you your money back, then it's not a scam.
    2. There's 2 sides to every story. I don't think we're getting the other side.
    3. The government loves felony convictions. This is an easy was for them to remove 2A rights from the general public. If Joe was really a bad guy, he would still been in prison.

    Homeadvisor, Angie's List, Yelp, etc. are the real scammers. E.g. Yelp will remove bad reviews if you buy their ads. Sounds a lot like "extortion" to me. This is a useless "parasite" industry.

    It's best to do your own research on contractors. Google will pull up a list. Check them with the BBB, friends, neighbors, testimonials. Use credit cards for deposits. That way if you do get scammed, you can ask the bank to file a dispute, and reverse the charges.
     
    Mimmo Blue and lineaTesoro like this.
  3. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 21, 2012
    11,832
    Fredericksburg, VA & Sarasota, FL
    Full Name:
    John
    Joe and his fellow travelers probably headed to Alabama or Georgia after leaving your place. From your links and reading between the lines, it looks like they might have also been trying to case your place. Just keep your guard up and keep checking up on Joe with whatever the internet reports next.
     
  4. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,600
    I'm sorry to hear that. They probably have your checking account number and routing number saved based on that check you gave him along with a copy of your signature. Just a heads up, but you probably thought of that.
     
  5. kenneyd

    kenneyd Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2014
    1,140
    NE FL
    Full Name:
    Ken
    Yep, that was the first thing we did. Call my bank they put a alert on my account and we've changed everything over today. What a pain I must have had 30 accounts linked to our checking

    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
     
  6. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,600
    Nice. My mother has had shady contractors for home repair that take advantage of her like perform poor work or intentionally damage stuff (AC repair in particular). She's also in FL. As much as I want to support the small businesses and people like that, I told her to give it up and pay extra for the likes of Sears and she hasn't had any problems since.

    I'm not familiar of any major companies that perform the services you need, but she is having Lowe's repair the backyard fence running to the lake that was damaged by a hurricane in 2017. They required her to get permits and a lot of stuff, but better than some shady handyman doing the work. Maybe Lowe's or Home Depot could point you in the right direction for a major company if they can't do it.
     
    Texas Forever likes this.
  7. kevfla

    kevfla Formula 3

    Nov 20, 2003
    1,977
    Full Name:
    gone 4 good
    But even then, going thru one of the big box stores or Sears is no guarantee. They all use subcontractors. Our local ABC affiliate ran a story this past week about shoddy roofing jobs by companies sourced thru Lowes. Aside from personal referrals, check each company's ratings from with local Better Business Bureaus.
     
    Texas Forever likes this.
  8. fedcoin

    fedcoin Karting

    Mar 11, 2017
    210
    "I called Home Advisor" lol

    I used MyPillow.com to locate a pillow because their commercial always comes on right after Home Advisor's commercial. I called MyPillow.com to speak with a representive about how fluffy their pillows were....
     
  9. Patrick21x

    Patrick21x Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 11, 2014
    214
    Orange County
    What I see when reading OP story......

    Guy comes to do work, OP gives guy deposit, guy gives deposit back and leaves......

    Internet detective comes up with Scam story, wife and kids emotionally hurt all because some guy came to your house, took money, gave money back and left.

    Come on man, grow some balls, stop playing the victim of a victim-less crime and move on with your life. Instill some confidence into your family by not making a big deal out of something so small. And certainly dont instill fear into them for the rest of there lives by conjuring up some grand scam story when nothing was ever scammed or taken from you. Looks to me like your just setting your family up to be victims for their entire life. "Unsafe and Violated" really???? Sounds like a headline to yet another Bogus #metoo lawsuit. Its crap like this that has ruined the justice system. Famous words of a professional lawsuit artist "I felt violated". But Mam, they gave you a full refund. "Yeahhhhhh, but I FEEEEEL VIOLATED" Makes me sick. Again, instill some confidence into the family. The reason your wife is scared and feels violated is because you made her feel that way by overacting to someone giving you a full refund and not charging you for scraping your driveway. Your story is mostly speculative and has no hard facts. You do not even know if the guy you found on google is the same guy. I am sure if you Google almost anyone's name, there will be matches of felons.

    I would really like to hear Joes side of the story. I know I have packed up and walked away from sales when customers simply become to hard to work with or just plain rude. As example, I have walked away before when a price was agreed to, then once I started my work the customer starts in with low balling price after it was already agreed to. "Well my brothers sisters cousin says he can do this work for half price" OK great, have your brothers sister cousin do it then, Here is a full refund, I am leaving, take care. Looking back on this, I am glad that rude customer didn't go online and post some story on how I was a felon and scammed him.......

    I have also been in situations where I see Red Flags from consumers. You know the type, the ones who are looking for an angle or some way to rig the system and get something for free. Or those ones that are simply looking for the perfect opportunity for the ole slip and fall trick. Seems there are more people now days looking to get something from others without having to pay for it. I am not saying this is what happened. But I know there are many other reasons to give a customer a full refund and simply walk away. Sometimes its not worth the hassle to deal with some people. Just because I dont want to work with you does not make me a felon and scam artist.

    In my opinion, you should have taken your refund, and called someone else to come finish the work. I would also ask for a better price from the next guy since the previous one didnt even charge you for all the scraping and tractor work. Now thats less work the next guy has to do so it should cost less.

    Seriously, You could have totally turned any lemons into lemonade, but rather you decided to put all your energy and efforts into making yourself, your wife and your kids a victim of a victim less crime. Let this be a lesson, and think deeply on the emotional scaring you have put your Wife and kids through. Next time, leave the wife and kids out of it, put your big boy pants on, and move on with your life, hire the next guy and get your drive way completed without the drama.
     
    Bcutrupi likes this.
  10. kenneyd

    kenneyd Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2014
    1,140
    NE FL
    Full Name:
    Ken
    #10 kenneyd, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    The post I made here on ferrari chat was 90% copy paste of the letter I sent to home advisor.

    If you actually read most post, it is almost completely a complaint against the service home advisor. Screw Joe, he is long gone and my only concern is gone scamming others in my area. And no a didn't go cheap on him or change anything on the deal. Thanks for all your misplaced assumptions



    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
     
    galt likes this.
  11. kenneyd

    kenneyd Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2014
    1,140
    NE FL
    Full Name:
    Ken
    Phone typo, gone = "him"
     
  12. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,600
    I think there is more of a guarantee since a major corporation is the one that sent the person to your home...at least you would have an easier time getting things fixed/reimbursed by a large corporation in that case than a fly-by-night contractor. At least that has been the experience my mother has had. They didn't provide a list of people to choose from, but like you said sent someone they are contracted with.
     
  13. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 31, 2006
    30,060
    East Central, FL
    Full Name:
    Wade O.
    Truth.
     
  14. norcal2

    norcal2 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Isnt there some kind of surety bonding involved here with these agencies? I do know there is with some state licensed contractors, I always check before I hire anyone if their bond is current with the state...at least you have recourse...
     
  15. Robert holmes

    Robert holmes Rookie

    Mar 19, 2019
    1
    Full Name:
    Robert holmes
    They scammed me also and now go under divine
    asphalt paving and sealcoating

    4600 Touchton Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32246
    (904) 738-2450

    https://g.co/kgs/puVw2J
     
  16. Mimmo Blue

    Mimmo Blue Formula Junior

    Apr 17, 2018
    251
    Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
    Full Name:
    Dom
    Lesson learned. If you want reputable contractors ask neighbours and friends or relatives who they used. I would never trust anyone I found on the net.
     
  17. kenneyd

    kenneyd Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2014
    1,140
    NE FL
    Full Name:
    Ken
    The jacksonville BBB actually contacted me a few weeks back, they are putting a media and possible legal campaign against the Croughin's based on dozens of reports of scams. I'd advise you to contact Shannon with the Better Business Bureau at 904-721-2288, extension is 310.
     
    Texas Forever likes this.
  18. MotorMouth

    MotorMouth Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 6, 2010
    356
    Columbia County NY
    Full Name:
    Dave
    Ive fixed my fair share of angies list hack jobs. Bbb is the same as the rest of these. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are the one real official reference. They’re not.
    No offense but it’s always the cheapest folks that get screwed by hiring bad contractors off of these sites. I’ve never heard of any scams. Just really bad work.
     
    Texas Forever and 19633500GT like this.
  19. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 7, 2003
    15,222
    Full Name:
    C9H8O4
    The number of bad repairs I have seen is astounding. It takes the same amount of work to complete a job the right way vs the wrong way. Why not do it correctly to begin with? People fail on simple things, too. I bought a new dishwasher and the guy didn't install it correctly. I visited my mother and walked in to find a worker looking through her meds drawer. I knew the owner and he was fired on the spot. The owner said the happiest day of his life was when he retired because he could never find good people.
     
    Texas Forever likes this.
  20. MotorMouth

    MotorMouth Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 6, 2010
    356
    Columbia County NY
    Full Name:
    Dave

    In excavation it can be super fast to half ass things. Then there are people that just don’t know what they are doing.
    That must have been pretty awkward when you caught the pill guy.
     
  21. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    18,142
    socal
    OP is a victim of crime. Guys tore up his property under the guise of repair and left. The next contractor will have a jaded opinion like you and charge the guy even more just to be safe because he too will be suspicious of the OP. Criminals are let out of jail all the time. WE let out 1000's so they would not get sick with cv19! What happened to protecting the public? Didn't our Governor say he is keeping a grip on lock down because it is his job to keep public safe? But lets criminals out of jail?
     
    Solid State likes this.

Share This Page