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Frayser woman believes she was scammed out of thousands of dollars

MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- A Frayser woman is issuing a warning.

She says she a scam victim.

The 81-year-old’s home was damaged in the Tom Lee storm on Memorial Day weekend and the roof needs to be repaired.

She says she gave a man, who told her he would make the repairs more than $3,800 now she’s scared he took the money and ran.

Aurelia Bourgeois says she’s beyond tears.

"My hands are tied.”

Like so many Bourgeois’ home and shed were damaged by the Memorial Day weekend storm.

She needs a new roof.

She hired a man who said his name was Cedric Steele from Steele Construction to do the job several weeks ago.

"He convinced me that he was an honest person and would do my work and take care of me. And I believed him beyond any doubt," she said.

A construction proposal was drafted up.

Here’s where things get dicey, she says Steele drove her to the bank.

She made out a check to the teller for cash of $3,841.26.

"He drove me to the bank. I didn’t think anything about it at the time. I didn’t think anything about it until the next Monday when he hadn’t shown up for a week and he had four excuses," she said.

Some of the excuses included doctors appointments and the weather.

"He didn’t show up. So my daughter called the next Monday. He promised to be here Friday which was today. Tuesday he called and said he wasn’t intending to do the job at all and that he did not have the money to give me back."

Bourgeois contacted the police but they said it was a civil issue. Now she’s trying to find an attorney to take the case.

The Better Business Bureau said they have no record of Steele’s business.

The BBB said when choosing a contractor make sure you get everything in writing and never paying the full bill up front.

They said never more than 30 % and pay with a credit card if possible.

Nancy Cawford with the BBB said a law was passed in 2010 to help consumers.

"It basically says if you pay someone to do work and 90 days has passed and they haven’t significantly enhanced the project or if no work was done then you can file charges against them and have them arrested for fraud," said Nancy Crawford, Director of Marketing and Communications for the BBB.

As wet weather is expected this weekend Bourgeois hopes for the best.

"So I’m sitting here waiting for it not to pour down enough to cause my roof to leak," she said.

WREG called a man who said he was Cedric Steele.

When we identified who we were he hung up on us.

We followed up with another call and an email with no answer.