Volunteer helps homeowners allegedly scammed by contractor - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Volunteer helps homeowners allegedly scammed by contractor

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A handful of people claim they have been scammed by a local contractor named Joe Dias. 

Thursday night we aired a story we’ve been working on for months.

Just hours after that story aired, another contractor met with one of the victims to learn how he might be able to help.

A contractor met with a homeowner who said she paid more than $8,000 to a man who goes by Joe Dias.

Rooms in the home were left in disarray and projects remain unfinished.

It all began when Edite Fragoso Sheldon told Western Mass News about her contractor’s mysterious disappearance.

Documents show she’d paid Joe Dias thousands in cash when she said he stopped answering her calls and texts, leaving Sheldon’s 83-year-old mother’s home with two unfinished bathrooms.

Months later, many more victims reached out about Dias.

Thursday night, we aired a story about all of these complaints which total more than $200,000.

[RELATED: Local contractor accused of taking more than $200K from victims]

Edite showed us her receipts which showed she paid Dias more than $8,000 over the course of several months until Dias stopped answering her phone calls and text messages.

Western Mass News reached out to Dias dozens of times before this story aired.

When Brandon Lubanski, owner of Lubanski Construction, learned about this story, he contacted Western Mass Mews, wanting to help the homeowners.

Lubanski said his reasoning for wanting to help is simple.
“Life’s been good to me so why not give back a little bit?" he said. 
Friday afternoon, Western Mass News cameras were there as Edite showed Brandon her home with unfinished projects.

“The whole thing is torn apart and not put back together. The tile sounds like it’s not fully bonded. The layout of the pattern is erratic,"said Lubanski.
He said to fix the bathroom downstairs, the bathroom upstairs, and the flooring in the kitchen, he’s looking at a week or two of work.
“It feels good to know that there are good people that are willing to help, it feels good," said Sheldon. 

“I'd hope that somebody would help me if I were in the same situation," Lubanski noted. 
Lubanski is also meeting with other victims who we have met with and we will be sure to keep you updated on the progress of these projects.

In the meantime, Brandon is looking for local charities and any materials available for donations.

For anyone who would like to make a donation, please contact our reporter Samara Abramson at samara.abramson@westernmassnews.com

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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