12 ON YOUR SIDE: House repairs for woman caught in tree removal scam

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A desire for money to make things right is one reason people fall for scams - even the homeowner we told you about last week.

Deborah Rogers gave her money to three men impersonating a legitimate tree removal business. They ran off without finishing the work.

Worry over broken floor tiles and needed home repairs clouded Deborah's judgement.

"The walls are cracking and down here where it's a cracked. Those tiles are caving in. I have to keep something over it so it doesn't cut my foot," said Deborah.

When scammers came around quoting a price too good to be true to remove a fallen tree, Deborah badly wanted to believe it. Now, she's out $250 and still needs home repairs.

"I'm worried because of my being unstable. My foot sometimes... I'm going to slip and fall in here and I just don't have the money to get it fixed."

Deborah is the lone driver for Deb's Taxi Service, but she's unable to take every call because of a medical condition called gastroparesis, partial paralysis of the stomach. Her stomach muscles can't propel food through her digestive tract.

"It's very difficult on me right now, because I don't have the finances two years ago or even three years ago, because I can't stay out here working all the time. I come home, and I got sleep, and I sleep a lot because it's the only way that I can tolerate the pain."

Deborah said her bathroom walls are cracking on both sides. She doesn't know if a water leak is the cause or trees on either side of her home.

"In here, this wall is cracking too. It goes from there around the light."

Deborah is getting help with the tree removal but needs help now addressing safety issues in her home.

"I need help fixing my house so that I can go into my bathroom safely without fear of falling through the floor. I know it's going to be extremely expensive, a lot more than I can afford."

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.