Elderly Homeowners Scammed on Hilton Head - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/04/04

Elderly Homeowners Scammed on Hilton Head

Ever tried to get someone to do work on your house? It can be a real nightmare, and it just got worse for some folks. It's the second time this week we've heard about someone scamming the elderly in Beaufort County. This time in a retirement community.

Investigators say James Byles with Florida Glass and Screen has scammed at least six people in Sun City out of thousands of dollars over the past few weeks.

All resident Harold Garnes wanted is a screened in porch, where he and his wife could sit and enjoy the view at their home. But what he got was scammed.

"He was doing work in the area, in fact right up the street from us, and he stopped by and passed out his card," Garnes said.

So after checking out some of his work, Garnes hired Byles to do the work. for half the price of other area contractors. But Byles said he needed half the money up front to get the project going.

"He said, 'If you get the permit on Thursday morning, give me a call and I'll start the work, because I'll already have the materials there,'" recalled Garnes. "And I wrote him a check for $1,950."

Byles cashed the check the next day, never to be heard from again.

"He never showed up, so I called him for a week," said Garnes. "Every day I called him, leaving messages."

After Garnes discovered the phone number had been disconnected, he went searching for the company and it ends up the company and the business address were both bogus.

It's a scam Beaufort County investigators say has happened to at least six other homeowners in the area. "He represents himself as a contractor with a porch and glass company," said Investigator Eric Claendine with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. "He basically writes out a contract and usually accepts half the money. In the civil cases, he pours concrete and never comes back."

Investigators are asking if you have been scammed by James Byles of Florida Glass and Screen, report it to the sheriff's office at 843.470.3200. Although Charges are pending in Garnes' case, the other cases are civil because Byles started the work.

Investigators say the first thing you need to do to protect yourself is check out contractors. Make sure they have a valid business license and check out some of their work and their references.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

  • NewsNewsMore>>

  • 79-year-old carries out lifelong dream of launching self-made craft

    79-year-old carries out lifelong dream of launching self-made craft

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:29 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:29:09 GMT
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)
    It's a boat launch that's been years in the making. Phillip Carter has been building a boat by hand for the past 20 years. The beautiful, handmade troller was put into the water for the first time on Saturday afternoon. His lifelong dream was to complete the boat, a goal he reached just 5 days after his 79th birthday. In the past 10 years he has had 2 open heart surgeries to recover from, making the day even more special for his family. "It means a lot," said Carter'...More >>
    It's a boat launch that's been years in the making. Phillip Carter has been building a boat by hand for the past 20 years. The beautiful, handmade troller was put into the water for the first time on Saturday afternoon. His lifelong dream was to complete the boat, a goal he reached just 5 days after his 79th birthday. In the past 10 years he has had 2 open heart surgeries to recover from, making the day even more special for his family. "It means a lot," said Carter'...More >>
  • 100 Black Men of Savannah hold annual fundraising gala

    100 Black Men of Savannah hold annual fundraising gala

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:21 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:21:59 GMT
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)
    The 100 Black Men of Savannah hosted their 22nd annual gala honoring prominent people in the community while also raising money for a good cause. The group decked out the Savannah Marriott Riverfront for the black-tie event. This is the group's sole fundraiser for the year, using the funds they get during the gala to help support scholarships, along with mentoring, volunteer work, and summer camps.  Saturday saw the group recognizing mentors who have gone above and be...More >>
    The 100 Black Men of Savannah hosted their 22nd annual gala honoring prominent people in the community while also raising money for a good cause. The group decked out the Savannah Marriott Riverfront for the black-tie event. This is the group's sole fundraiser for the year, using the funds they get during the gala to help support scholarships, along with mentoring, volunteer work, and summer camps.  Saturday saw the group recognizing mentors who have gone above and be...More >>
  • Alcohol ban continues through Orange Crush weekend

    Alcohol ban continues through Orange Crush weekend

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:03 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:03:52 GMT
    (SOurce: WTOC)(SOurce: WTOC)
    (SOurce: WTOC)(SOurce: WTOC)

    Orange Crush 2018 is in full effect this weekend, but so is the alcohol ban across Tybee Island. Law enforcement has been preparing for this huge annual event for some time. Patrol cars were lined up along Highway 80 as a cautionary measure to deter drinking and driving. Tybee police say they haven't made any arrests on Saturday, and many partygoers say they are aware of the alcohol ban and are abiding by it.  "So far, most folks are well behaved," said Tybe...

    More >>

    Orange Crush 2018 is in full effect this weekend, but so is the alcohol ban across Tybee Island. Law enforcement has been preparing for this huge annual event for some time. Patrol cars were lined up along Highway 80 as a cautionary measure to deter drinking and driving. Tybee police say they haven't made any arrests on Saturday, and many partygoers say they are aware of the alcohol ban and are abiding by it.  "So far, most folks are well behaved," said Tybe...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly