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Woman says she was scammed by company found in classifieds

ABC57 is investigating the claims from a South Bend woman that she was scammed by a contractor she found in the classifieds of the South Bend Tribune.

Delphine Harris tells ABC57 News that she called Concrete Inc. to do work on her front porch. The man who came to her house asked for some money up-front and he would collect the rest when the job was completed. She paid him $1,400, he did some demo work and hasn't been back. That was nearly two weeks ago.

“I mean, I could have done this myself for $1,400!” Harris said. “He won’t answer my phone calls. He won’t do nothing.”

When Harris contacted ABC57, all she had was a receipt with the company's name, the classified ad and the first name of the contractor; Eddie.

We called the number listed and left several messages over a period of days with no luck at making contact. Concrete Inc., based in the Michiana area, is also not a registered business in the state.

We then started calling people in the industry who may know a man named Eddie. We quickly learned the name Edward Grove. Some quick research into Grove uncovered several complaints that were similar to Harris' story.

The Better Business Bureau, which gives Grove an F, lists 6 complaints related to his multiple business names. One says he asked for half of the money down and didn't complete the work. Another says he never answered his phone. And a separate complaint describes an advertisement in the South Bend Tribune where Grove says his business is "Licensed, Bonded and Insured." The BBB reports he was not licensed to do that kind of work in Elkhart County.

We contacted St. Joseph County and were told Grove is not currently licensed here either.

The South Bend Tribune has since taken the ad down because of complaints. We wanted to know how they vet classifieds, but a supervisor never called us back.

Grove eventually called us back. He refused to speak to us on camera. He says the entire situation is a misunderstanding. He claims he planned to finish the work, but Harris didn't have all of the money he needed. She says that statement is not true.

When asked about previous complaints and licensing issues, Grove said he knows how to do concrete but he's not much of a business man. 

Grove tells ABC57 he plans to give Harris a full refund. Harris said he contacted her and said he would bring her the $1,400 this afternoon. As of 6:30pm, she said she had not received the payment.

Grove has operated under other business names as well, including Mr. Concrete, Midwest Concrete Construction and Victory Concrete.

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