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A look back at 2007

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By Amanda Taylor, NEWS 9

During the last year, we've met some people who weren't too happy to see our Consumer Watch Team.  Then there were others who were willing to talk, until they realized we were onto their lies.

One lady was posing as a home buyer, she would convince sellers to let her move in, and then when the deal would fall through, she would turn into a squatter not paying a cent.

Remember the guy who was selling fake sterling silver jewelry at a local mall? We caught him on hidden camera trying to sell it as the real deal.

Here's an update: The mall has since kicked him and his store out.

While we've met quite a few people like him in the past year, none stands out so much as Rocky Loving.

We met Rocky in November and we had to travel to Dallas to find him. He's the owner of United Handicapped Assembled Products, a company that sells trash bags, pens, and survival kits. We found his telemarketing employees were told to talk like they have a mental disability. That way they could get potential buyers to feel sorry for them and to sell more products.

Rocky Loving is our number one scammer of 2007.

Our Consumer Watch Team always enjoys surprising folks, but this past year, we got a surprise too. When we went to meet a man who was accused of breaking a lady's sprinkler system, he made good, right on the spot!

He gave us $500 to pass onto the consumer, making this our 2007 consumer surprise of the year.

We showed you a small church in Langston, the members paid thousands of dollars to have their old building demolished so they could build a new fellowship hall. The contractor left the building and took their money. Darrell Husted saw our story. He wanted the New Hope Baptist Church to have, well, new hope, and a check for $3,400.

And then there's the story of Dale Phillips.

In 2007 he hired and paid Lyons Pride Painting to paint his house. The company started the work but never finished.

That's when a group of NEWS 9 viewers stepped in. We helped organize them and local church groups who spent several Saturdays painting Dale's home.

That makes both of these our viewer response stories of the year.

We hope to have more like those in 2008.

Another thing worth noting are some of the top tips from this past year:

- Get everything in writing.
- Get a start and a finish date when you hire someone for a project.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau and attorney general's office to make sure the person you're dealing with is in good standing.

If there's something our Consumer Watch team can help you with, give them a call at 841-9921.

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