Forsyth County homeowners: 'We fell for handyman scam' - CBS46 News

Forsyth County homeowners: 'We fell for handyman scam'

Posted: Updated:

A group of homeowners in Forsyth County have a warning they want you to hear. They say they hired a handyman to do work in their homes, and he did little or no work (depending on the job), then disappeared.

CBS46 did some digging and found out James “Kasey” Shoemake has been arrested at least twice for doing it.

“It is heartbreaking because it is not just even hard-working families he is hitting, it’s single people that are struggling, single mothers, elderly people,” Joe and Robin Nickles explained to CBS46. The Nickles say they needed someone to help them finish their basement right after moving into their Forsyth County home so they posted an ad on Facebook and Shoemake responded.

“We had just moved here from South Dakota so we didn’t know anybody… he talked a good game. He was nice, respectful,” the Joe Nickles explained.

The Nickles signed a contract with the business Shoemake called "K and S Automotive and Handyman" and paid upfront.

“$2,500 was what was on the contract and we gave him half,” Joe Nickles stated. Nickles claims Shoemake worked in his basement twice, then sent other workers to finish the job. The workers claimed they were never paid and stopped showing up.

“It pisses me off that he did it and that I fell for it,” Nickles fumed. More than a year later, part of his basement remains unfinished and with no money to hire another contractor the Nickles have put sheetrock up themselves after watching videos online.

“We had to do the mudding and the taping and the sanding and it looks bad,” Nickles laughed.  

“I found him on Lake Lanier Dwellers page,” Scott Allen told CBS46. Allen also hired Shoemake signing a nearly identical contract with “K and S Automotive and Handyman.”

“He said, ‘I’ll be here at 7:30 in the morning and never showed up,’” Allen recalled. Allen said he also paid Shoemake half the quoted price upfront and never saw him again.

Allen and the Nickles are now part of a Facebook group of people who claim they have been scammed by Shoemake. With his handyman ad still posted online CBS46 reached out to get his side of the story but got only his voicemail.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Department reports Shoemake was arrested twice in Hall County last fall for felony theft by conversion. They advise the best way to avoid being scammed: never pay upfront, always ask for a business license, and check a contractor's rating with the BBB.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

Connect with CBS46