(WJLA) - Blind and dealing with disabilities at age 81, Selma Nootenboom depends on her family - but they couldn't protect her from this.
Rogue tree trimmers, who were originally turned away by Selma's nephew, turned up again months later to charge her thousands of dollars for work they originally said would be $700.
It's fast money for unlicensed workers, who were later caught and convicted.
It's a prime example for Montgomery County leaders, who announced on Friday that they will be sharing information on scam contractors to send them away for stealing people's money.
"We see anything from $400, $500 at a time, up to $250,000," said Lieutenant Mike Hartnett, who has seen seniors like Selma scammed by everyone from bogus driveway pavers to bad roofers. The woman who lived in this Chevy Chase home was even taken by 13 different contractors for a total of $160,000:
"They just kept coming back and coming back and selling her chimney repair and roofing repair and painting and there's nothing ever done to it."
But investigators are getting to work, cracking down on unlicensed contractors and spreading the word so you don't end up with a story like Selma's.