Cops: Fake contractor scammed elderly homeowner

Posted at 1:03 PM, Jun 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 18:26:46-04

A Clearwater man has been accused once again of contracting without a license and duping an elderly woman out of thousands of dollars.

Elmer Smith, who also goes by multiple aliases, including Fred Smith, is now facing exploiting the elderly charges and soliciting without a permit.

According to Largo Police, Smith was going door-to-door off 20th Avenue Southwest in late May offering to pressure wash homes.

An 84-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified, told ABC Actions she took Smith up on his offer. 

"Don't let anyone come to your door and tell you they are going to do any work for you. Find legitimate people," she advised.

Days later, she says Smith came back to her house and gave her a bill for $1,650. She thought she misunderstood the pricing and decided to pay Smith anyway, she said.

"I thought maybe it was $75 an hour," said the woman.

A police report states Smith claimed to have applied mildcride to kill and control mildew, had prepared the home for waterproofing, had pressure washed the complete exterior of the home, and had applied water seal to the entire exterior of the home.

No work was ever done on the home, according to police.

Police say Smith had another member of his company, Florida Special Projects, come back to the elderly woman's home a week later to collect an additional $1,000.

The woman handed over a second check for the $1,000, she explained.

That is when the woman called police.

She says police advised her to immediately stop payment on the check.

According to the woman, police organized a sting at her home and asked her to call Smith and tell him she had $1,000 in cash for him to come and pick up.

When Smith showed up hours later, police arrested him.

Smith goes by multiple aliases including Fred Corbett Smith, Corby Smith, Fred Smith, Fred C. Smith and Elmer Sean Smith, jail records show.

ABC Action News tried contacting Smith but we were not able to locate an address. Record searches and jail records list Smith as transient.

Smith did leave a business card with the woman. The business card listed a phone number.

ABC Action News left a message but no one immediately returned our calls for comment.