Police have identified the suspect as Jim Henry Bullock, 38, of Meadowbrook Road in Rocky Mount, N.C.
According to police, Bullock and another man went to the victim's home in the Beaconsdale section of the city. They claimed they were sent by Newport News Waterworks because of excessive water usage.
Police say Bullock told the victim he needed to check under the house for leaks. After going under the house for a while, he came back up and gave the victim a work order for $18,500. Police say he never actually completed any work.
The victim said he couldn't afford the full amount right away, but would pay $9,250. Police say the elderly man wrote a check which Bullock took to a local credit union and cashed.
He didn't just take the money and run though. Police say Bullock was so bold that he called the victim back the next day, demanding the rest of his payment. That's when a family member learned what was going on and notified police.
Bullock is from North Carolina but police say he's also been seen on the Southside as well as in Newport News.
They say they need your help to track Bullock down before anyone else becomes a victim.
"Mr. Bullock does have a history from North Carolina with the same type of incidents that we're seeing here in Newport News. Unfortunately, with the cold weather that we've had, warmer weather is around the corner, we're expecting that we're going to see more of these types of scams coming up against the elderly, particularly because they`re so welcoming and so open," said Det. Lisa Uzzle with the Newport News Police Dept.
If you know where police can find Bullock, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. You can remain anonymous and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.
Police provided the following resources to help you avoid becoming a victim.
- Federal Trade Commission: You can check for current scams and file a complaint on this web site
- National Crime Prevention Council: Shows listings on how to protect yourself and identify red flags on scams
- National White Collar Crime Center: If you have become a victim of internet crime, you can find investigative support and file a complaint of fraud