Man and woman posing as a fake business scam newly-relocated retired couple out of thousands

Saturday, October 15, 2022
Retirees new to Texas say phony contractors scammed them out of $3K
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Through tears, a retiree who recently moved to Texas tells ABC13 how a couple gained her trust only to leave a mess and be out money.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After a lifetime in California, couple Nancy and John Casper found the perfect home in the Texas countryside for retirement.

"When I came to Texas, I thought, oh, Texas is such a great place, and I said everybody was so friendly, howdy ma'am and howdy sir," Nancy said.

But it was that genuine warm hospitality that was also used, they say, by a couple who scammed them out of thousands of dollars.

"He seemed so believable. He had a family. He came out here with his kids," Nancy said.

Nancy said that they hired Aldo Gutierrez and his wife, Karla Carranza, to make upgrades to their kitchen with brand-new cabinets.

At the start of the job, Gutierrez requested thousands of dollars to begin, according to Nancy.

"We gave him $3,000 upfront, cash," she said.

The pair instructed the retired couple to completely gut the kitchen themselves to make way for the new cabinet install.

RELATED: Friendswood PD warn of man posing as service worker and stealing from homeowners

But, after weeks, then months went by, there was no word from Gutierrez.

The Caspers hired a bounty hunter to find him and filed a report with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Soon after, Gutierrez and his wife were arrested in Galveston County.

It was revealed that the two swindled $8,000 from a customer with promises of new cabinets that never were installed, according to the Friendswood Police Department.

Police say they operated as W.A. Construction LLC and advertised it on Facebook Marketplace.

"They actually took photos from other reliable, good contractors and used it to advertise on Facebook to get these victim's money," Taylor McCombs of the Friendswood PD, said.

SEE ALSO: Houston man accused of scamming people out of $787K in property scheme

Friendswood police says that if you're looking for a contractor, follow these tips:

  • Check customer reviews from multiple sources like Yelp and Google
  • Double-check the company's history with the Better Business Bureau
  • Never pay with cash
  • Although now Gutierrez and his wife are behind bars, investigators are still looking for other potential victims.

    They're asking potential victims to contact their local police department.

    "You know, we worked so hard all our lives to retire like this and for somebody just to come to scam us and take our money? It's not something that's a concept to me. I could never do that to somebody," Nancy said.

    For more on this story, follow Shelley Childers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.