CBS47 On Your Side: Fresno woman warns others of fictitious business scam

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A Fresno woman was ripped off of $1,800.

Now she is speaking out to prevent others from falling victim of the same trap.

Nancy Gilbert was so upset she has been taken advantaged of, she wrote out her feeling on paper.

Last week, a guy show up at her yard sale asking for tools.

Gilbert says his name was Joe Monacato.

Gilbert says, “He said I’m going back into my business I had before which is my passion. I love doing the paving.”

Gilbert thought her prayers were answered.

She had been saving up money for the past 5 years to reseal her sidewalks in the back yard.

After negotiating with the man, she agreed to pay $1,900.

But she made a big mistake and gave the guy all the money upfront.

Gilbert says, “I don’t know what I was thinking I gave it all to him.”

Gilbert was given this receipt.

It states it’s from Joe’s Driveways and Painting at 909 N. Blackstone Avenue, in Fresno with a phone number.

The problem… there is no business at 909 N. Blackstone Avenue.

Since then the number has now been disconnected.

Joe Monacato, if that’s even his name, was never seen again.

Gilbert says, “I think it needs to be warning out for the senior citizens especially. They can be scammed like I was. He was good.”

Liliya Rudan with the Better Business Bureau of Central California says, “So far we don’t have anything in our database indicating that this business is operating.”

The BBB warns consumers to always check references before hiring anyone, this is your money protect it.

Also make sure whoever is working on your home is licensed, bonded and insured.

Because if they get hurt on your property you may be held liable.

Ruden says, “you could be held liable for their medical bills, expenses and if you could not covert it, leans could put on your property.”

She adds never pay upfront.

If you have to make a deposit, a 10 percent limit is best.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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