Victim Location 33418
Total money lost $600
Type of a scam Home Improvement
Early Monday June 25th I went on-line to find a tree pruning service in my area. I found a site (name of which I do not recall) and entered my name, town & address number and what I needed done. About 30 minutes later I got a call from Moore’s Family Tree service located in Royal Palm Beach (Jacob Moore – tel.: 255-1409) and he scheduled to come to my home in about an hour. At about 10:30 Jacob Moore came and gave me an estimate for trimming my 2 live oak trees and my neighbor’s 2 trees ($600 for me & $800 for my neighbor, whose home I watch since he is a ‘snow-bird’) He claimed that he was an arborist & explained how he would be climbing to do all the cuttings and would come with his dump-truck and chipper machine to take all cuttings away. I asked when he could do this and he went to his car (a white SUV) to check schedules and then told me that he could do it tomorrow – Tuesday June 26th. I asked for a business card or something like a written estimate on Monday, but he said this was not his usual car and didn’t have any.
Tuesday at 10:40 he showed up with the dump-truck and chipper along with 2 other persons. He then asked me to walk around with him to confirm how pruning will be done. After that, he asked me for a deposit of half of the total $1400 job) I asked if I could just give him $600 and pay the final $800 on completion, since I had to get reimbursement for that from my neighbor. Being o.k. I gave him a check for the $600.00 I also had him sign a liability and damage waiver for both homes since he did not bring me the in-force insurance documents that he promised to bring, for liability & workman’s comp.
Within 10 minutes, even before he started any work, the same white GMC Acadia SUV showed up driven by a female (license plate # ***) . I looked outside and within 5 minutes, saw the car leave with Jacob Moore and the 2 workers and the female, with the dump-truck parked out front. 10 minutes later I called Jacob and asked what was going on & he said he would be back in 20 minutes. I got a little suspicious then and went onto by banks web site to check and found that he already cashed my $600 check for cash. I waited another 20 minutes and called him again but got no answer and voice mail box was full.
A little before noon the same white SUV showed up with the female & a passenger. I waited a few minutes and went out to talk to her to see what was going on. When I asked her name she said she was Karlene and I asked if she was his wife and she said no. Further discussion with her & she said that the truck & chipper was hers and he did not have permission to use it. (Interesting that he came in HER car the day before). She said she & Jacob used to be partners but she was opening her own business soon. I tried calling Jacob again with no answer. After a while, Karlene called him and he told her he was coming right back. I waited 15 minutes and then called PBG Police. Karlen called him again and he said he would not come now with the Police coming and that he would return my $600 tomorrow at 10 a.m. Officer came 20 minutes later ((after Karlene supposedly left to pick up Jacob) and I spoke to him and related all the facts. He said this was probably a civil matter and could not help at this time.
Karlene came back later with 2 other persons in her car and drove off with the dump-truck & chipper. I have called Jacob 6 times since on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday morning with the same no-answer and full voice-mail-box. I then went further on-line and found Jacob’s home address to be *** *** *** *** *** *** ** *** and that Jacob Moore has a criminal record in PBC from at least March 25, 2017 & Feb. 15, 2018. I also found that he was not 43 years old, as he said Monday, couldn’t be true since his date of birth is *** ** *** making him only age 32 or 33. and that his stated son of age 21 would be doing the tree pruning could also not be true. I also found that Karlene’s full name is Karlene Rock and they possibly got married or planned to on (Macy’s wedding register) May 1 2016.
With all these facts I feel that this whole ordeal was a complete scam perpetrated by both of them to scam deposits from homeowners. This could be an on-going criminal scam operation. My $600 is probably lost, but this is no longer only a civil matter.
Tried calling one last time Friday 11:30 a.m. He finally answered his phone. Promised to bring me my $600 today ‘after work’ today between 6 & 7 p.m. Never came to pay me, as expected. LIAR !!!!!!