Tuesday, February 10, 2009


People who trust can sometimes get scammed. I admit it. We were too trusting, and we were scammed. What makes it even worse is that we have all heard stories about this exact kind of thing.

We have a lot of cracks in our driveway.

Yesterday Jane and I both happened to be home when a very nice looking, very polite, man came to our door. He said he had completed a driveway installation and had some materials left over which he didn’t want to have to dispose of. He offered to “spray seal” our driveway for $300. I told him we couldn’t afford that. Then he said if we would put one of his signs in our yard to help him get business, he would do it for $250. Jane and I discussed it, and since we are getting a tax refund, it sounded like a good deal, so we agreed.

He made a phone call and a second truck soon appeared with his “son” (?) and a third man, and they began busily sweeping and cleaning the driveway. He said this was a spray procedure and would not take long to complete.

Later he came to the door to get his check, and gave me a receipt that had a phone number on it to call him if there were any problems. He said he had to get a sign from one of his other jobs, and would bring it back and set it up. He said the cracks were still showing, but the sealer would expand over night to fill the cracks.

When he left we went out to look at the driveway and it looked like someone had just sprayed oil on it. So, too late, we began to realize this must have been a scam.

I went to the internet to look up his name, figuring he probably used a fake one, and this would be a dead end. Lo and behold, there he was – GLEN STAMPER – two articles about him scamming people in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.

We immediately called the police. While waiting for the police, I looked at my checking account on the internet and the $250 check had been cashed within 20 minutes!

The police officer found his picture and info about him on his computer. He said the man was wanted in several states, and if we ever saw him again, we should call 911 and report him as a fugitive. The officer also called the number that was written on the receipt, and it was a disconnected number.

This is where it gets even more interesting. And very frustrating, as though we were being screwed a second time!

There is a Motel 6 behind a Mexican restaurant where we sometimes eat. Some friends whom we had told about the incident happened to notice his two trucks parked at that motel! The friends called us, and we called 911 while our friends watched from a distance.

Police came. They looked at the trucks. They went to the office. They came back and knocked on a door. No answer. They went to the office again.

Our friends decided to talk to one of the police officers to tell them they knew about the situation and see what was going on. The police actually saw that the man was walking around right there in the parking lot, but said they could find no Tennessee warrants, so they couldn’t do anything! This, after the investigating officer had taken our complaint and said there were warrants in several states!!

I called the police station and asked to speak to our investigating officer. They said he was not on duty and they could not take a message unless he was on duty. I looked up his name in the phone book and found three listings. Two were not the right number and I left a message at the third number.

We called the warrants department. They told us they couldn’t find anything. They told us to call the main police headquarters. The police department said to call the Warrants Department! After we explained that we had done that and were now going in circles, they said we should talk to the Desk Sergeant at our local precinct. After figuring out the correct precinct, they said they would call the dispatcher, who would call the desk sergeant, and the desk sergeant would call me back. That was over an hour ago. We’re still waiting.

Being scammed by the crook was bad enough. But after finding him, calling 911 as were told to do by the investigating officer, and then being told they couldn’t do anything….I can’t begin to tell you how that feels!!

Bottom line, we are out $250 due to our trusting (yes, and our gullibility). We found the scammers for the police, who said they couldn’t do anything. And, most certainly, the scammers will be on to a different area tomorrow, if they’ve not left already.

We still want to be able to trust people, and 99 times out of 100 that works out fine. But a lesson learned is that we will never again buy anything from any stranger who knocks at our door. If it’s something we need, we’ll make a call to a person or business of our choosing.

In the meantime, watch out for Glen Stamper and his two white pickup trucks. He might be coming soon to a neighborhood near you!

It just ain't nice to do to old people!


1 comment:

Lilla said...

Gosh, that is terrible! Sorry you guys are going through this. I would say a Letter to the Editor in your local paper, and a call to the local news stations might get someone to stand up and take notice. Funny how a little media squeeze changes things.

Good luck!