The Navarro County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office have recently received multiple complaints regarding fraudulent construction schemes around Richland Chambers Lake. Several complaints have been filed by persons who have entered into agreements for construction work around the lake and paid substantial sums of money up front and then had no work performed by the purported contractor for weeks or months. Investigation by the Navarro County Sheriff's Office has revealed that some complainants were presented with work permits purportedly issued by Tarrant Regional Water District, which regulates all construction on the lake, that were subsequently confirmed to be fraudulent. Construction or work projects around the home are frequently the basis for fraudulent schemes because they involve significant sums of money and perpetrators can legitimately state that they need money up front from their victims to purchase materials that will be needed for the project. After receiving money, they have a virtually limitless list of excuses why no work has been performed including shortage of materials, shortage of labor, delays in permitting and weather. Prosecuting these schemes can be challenging because it must be proven that the perpetrator had intent to take money under false pretenses and it's not just poor business practices.
Navarro County has many skilled and reputable construction contractors and construction activity around the lake is booming, but consumers should be careful and do a little checking before making large up-front payments for work to be done. All construction on Richland Chambers lake is regulated by Tarrant Regional Water District and contractors must be approved and have a permit from the district for each project. Consumers can verify that a contractor has the necessary permits by contacting the district office at (903) 389-3928. Be wary of contractors who come to your home without any appointment or suggest that you must enter into a contract or pay them money immediately. Some perpetrators have dishonestly told consumers that they were sent by the consumer's insurance company to check their roof or other aspects of their home. Take a little time and verify directly with your insurance company or get references. If you feel that you have been the victim of a fraudulent scheme, report it to your local law enforcement agency. Sometimes it is the combination of reports by several different victims that gives our law enforcement agencies the information they need to take action and prevent others from being victimized.