Scam artist makes quick work of 92-year-old victim

If you know this man call the Pike County Illinois Sheriff's Department

Home repair can be expensive. Especially when there is nothing wrong with your house.

Pike County Illinois Sheriff Paul Petty says a new scam got one rural resident this week.

A rural Pike County resident paid for work done to an electric line ... but she fell victim to a scam.

Pike County Sheriff Paul Petty identified the scam artist as Steven Cranford after viewing security video from a Quincy bank. Petty said Cranford told the woman there were problems with her electric service inside her house and that he was the best there was to make the repairs.

"And that he was one of the better ones and he could do things that the others couldn't do, like find trouble with his computer. And he said he was really good at what he did," the victim who didn't want to be identified said.

Petty told us that the scam artists are slick talkers and that once they get inside your house, it can quickly escalate to the point where victims feel intimidated and feel a responsibility to write the check. This time, the woman wrote a check for more than $5,000 and Cranford immediately went to her bank and got the cash.

"People have to understand that if you're not experiencing right now at this instant an issue that is ideally identifiable, so if you house isn't on fire or if your electric is not off, you have time to make a phone call to a friend to a neighbor, to anybody to clarify I want somebody present when I make this decision," Petty said.

The sheriff added that once a scam artist hits one or two or maybe even three victims within a short amount of time they usually leave the area and move on to find other victims. He said if you are approached by someone, ask questions, call a neighbor and even call the police for assistance.

Petty also said if Cranford is located, he will face felony theft charges in Pike County.

If you have any information on Steven Cranford's whereabouts, please call Pike County Crime Stoppers at 217-285-1500.