CPD UPDATE: Man accused of scamming victims in construction deal, arrested and charged

Columbia Police need help finding 44 year old Tyron Bethea
Tyron Bethea

Tyron Bethea
Courtesy: Columbia Police Department

Columbia, SC  (WOLO) — UPDATE: The Columbia Police Department says Tyron Bethea has been arrested and charged with obtaining property under false pretenses.

According to officials,  44 year old Tyron Bethea is accused of offering to do work on their homes. According to  investigators, Bethea told the unsuspecting victims he was the owner of  a company called ‘A.T.G. Construction’ and was a ‘licensed contractor in various trades.’

Officials say Bethea drew up a contract using the company’s name and gave them a quote of $28,500 dollars in order to build an addition to their home.

Police say the victims paid Bethea $2700 dollars in cash.  But according to authorities even with a payment, paperwork and agreement, Bethea is accused of not completing the work. Authorities say he is also accused of running a business without a business license needed from the South Carolina Department of Labor and Licensing.

CPD has also provided some tips below to keep you from falling victim to scams like this.

    • Be wary of  ‘contractors’ who stop by your house looking for work
    • Don’t fall for limited-time offers, or the pressure to hire a contractor on the spot to get a discount
    • Don’t pay for services upfront
    • Don’t accept an offer to arrange financing through a lender of their choice
    • Insist on seeing references
    • Ask detailed questions
    • Ask to see a recently completed project site
    • Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to find out the contractors rating or if any complaints have been filed
    • Require all agreements in writing
    • According to the BBB says a contract should include a detailed description of the work, material costs, start and completion dates, and warranty information
    • File a complaint with the BBB if you’ve been scammed or poorly served by a contractor
    • Notify local police

 

 

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