Mesa homeowner ripped off by fake contractor gets $3,000 returned

Neil Tift was able to get $3,000 back after a fake contractor named Gabriel Poland left him with an unfinished remodeling project.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 4:43 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:09 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Neil Tift says he sure is glad he contacted On Your Side. “When I emailed you and within a week, you responded, and, I thought, here’s someone who might be able to make a difference,” he said.

In a previous On Your Side report, the Mesa homeowner explained how he logged on to Angi, formerly known as Angie’s List, to find a contractor to remodel his backyard. And that’s where he found a guy named Gabriel Poland. “He came out and he told me he was a veteran and Christian and that he and his wife were just starting a family,” Neil told On Your Side.

Poland poses as a licensed contractor and, in correspondence with Neil, claimed he could remodel Neil’s backyard. All he needed was $5,500 to get things rolling. Neil says very little work was done over the course of nearly two years, and then, Poland stopped showing up. “You have been very patient,” On Your Side’s Gary Harper said to Neil. “I think so, after a year and a half, yes,” he responded.

Poland failed to respond to On Your Side’s numerous emails. So, we turned to that website called Angi and explained what happened to Neil. After looking into the matter, the website agreed to return $3,000 back to Neil, and he just got the check in the mail.

It’s not the full amount, and Angi wouldn’t explain how they arrived at that amount, but Neil says he’s still very happy. “We wouldn’t have gotten a penny back. So, Gary like I said a few weeks ago you’re my new best friend. Thank you very much,” he said.