SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A San Tan Valley widow says she's the victim of fraud, after calling a plumber to fix a minor leak. The repair was supposed to be $65, but she unknowingly was charged nearly $12,000.
Carol Jeffcott says she went outside and discovered the water spigot on the side of her house wasn't working properly. "It was just a leak on the primary thing that ran the irrigation for that particular area," she said.
To fix the leak, Jeffcott says she went online and found a company called H20 Irrigation Specialist who said they could fix her faucet. In fact, she received a text message from H2O Irrigation Specialist indicating a repairman would show up to her house soon. The repairman did show up, and installed a new spigot for $65, which Carol put on her Citi credit card.
But right after he left, the new spigot was leaking again. "All night the water spilled all over, so I turned off the main water at the house and I called him back and I said you've got to come back and repair this water shooting everywhere," Jeffcott said. "He goes, 'Well, I'm down in Phoenix and I won't be able to come back, blah, blah, blah.' Like he wasn't concerned with it."
That so-called repairman didn’t return and Jeffcott had to call another plumber to fix it.
But get this: She says H2O Irrigation Specialist secretly charged her Citi Bank credit card for an astonishing amount- $11,500. That's right, a total of $11,500 showed up as two separate charges on Jeffcott's Citi credit card statement. Jeffcott says the spigot may be gold in color, but it's certainly not made of gold.
So, she disputed the two fraudulent charges, but they're still on her account. "When I called Citi, they told me, no, nothing's been credited for $65, but there's been a charge of $6,500 and one for $5,000." My question being why would you not have called me on such large, you know, charges?"
Jeffcott remains outraged because this problem happened way back in October and five months later, Citi has not returned the $11,500 back to Carol.
So 3 On Your Side got involved and asked Citi Bank about those fraudulent charges.
In an email, they say:
We are working as fast as we can to address this and will be in touch with Ms. Jeffcott as we have more information.
Jeffcott says it's all talk. "it's very upsetting."
3 On Your Side looked into H2O Irrigation Specialist and found them to be just as evasive as their Ninja logo found on their invoice. For starters, the plumber's name or address are nowhere on the receipt making it nearly impossible to contact the company.
"It's horrible. You know, people don't know to do things because they don't know you've been very diligent... very careful," Jeffcott says. "And then to be suckered into this."
And as for a phone number, good luck calling it.
[Phone call:]"The service you are attempting to use has been restricted or is unavailable."
And that's not all. The company's website was taken down. According to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, H20 Irrigation Specialist isn't even licensed.
Jeffcott says she's depending on 3 On Your Side to convince Citi Bank to do the right thing and return her $11,500. "I'll know the good Lord took care of it with your help," she says.
So, what is Citi Bank going to do? We’ll let you know in a follow up report.
Full statement from Citi to 3 On Your Side 3/12/2021:
Thanks for your patience here and for circling back with us. For all billing disputes, we are required to conduct a thorough investigation through the appropriate payment network. As such, there is a time period required wherein we need to provide the merchant with an opportunity to respond to our inquiry and during this time, we provide a conditional credit on the account. We are working as fast as we can to address this and will be in touch with Ms. Jeffcott as we have more information.