If you don't check out the people working for you it is your own fault. 1/3 - 1/2 - all - it makes no difference when the contractor is shady. It is your place to protect yourself. (I do accept she is 82 - but sweety get some help with financial concerns - across the board)
Their website being down may had been a clue. Or if their online reviews were from the guy who sold it to you and worked for the company. Seriously, that took me under a minute.
Our opinion on the matter is we don't know our customers. I am not going to do custom work, pay for the materials and my guys time just because you say you have it! And if I do I will be pulling a credit check or have a billable credit card on file.
I think the red flag for her should had been when he asked for so little up front and you get what you pay for, especially WHO you pay for.
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