People hired to shovel away Northeast Ohio snow never finished job

Local couple says they hope others learn from their mistakes
Updated: Feb. 17, 2021 at 10:56 PM EST
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LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WOIO) - Cyndi Rivers said her husband broke his leg while shoveling snow recently, and since she’s recovering from a hip replacement, they knew they needed to hire someone to shovel the snow around their Lakewood home.

Rivers said she found someone through a community Facebook group and was quoted $40 for the job.

Her husband, Ed, paid them through Cash App.

A woman and her fiancé showed up, shoveled a small area, and then claimed they were going to get coffee. But they never came back to finish the job, she said.

“It was suspicious that they said they were going to leave for coffee when they had only been in our yard for 20 minutes. It’s like they did it purposely. They did the area that I could see them from the window,” said Rivers.

In several messages after leaving, the woman claimed Rivers lied about the amount of snow needing to be shoveled. After posting about it on Facebook, Rivers said someone else came to the rescue by shoveling the driveway and back steps.

She called the police but was told this is a civil matter.

Our partners at Cuyahoga County Scam Squad said the best way to avoid this situation is not to pay for work before it’s completed.

“We may have been duped by the no common sense thing, but it’s our goal that nobody else gets duped,” Rivers added.

The BBB said they don’t believe snow shoveling scams are a widespread issue, but they still suggest people get a written estimate, have a written contract, and do not pay for work before it’s done.

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