CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On the first Troubleshooters report of 2020, and the new decade, we have a story about an Odem man who thought he was getting a new, better paying job.
But, as the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
No sooner had the calendar turned to 2020, Gilbert Cruz's phone rang. It was a job offer for "boilermaker and pipe-fitter what he does. That's his trade," his wife Sarah told us.
Gilbert has worked in the refineries for 20 years, but he was always looking for a better job. This job offer was a government-funded job paying $43.00 an hour. More if he recruited 3-4 others.
Something just didn't sound right to Sarah.
"So I was like, that sounds almost too good to be true," And he was like, no. He goes that's how government-funded jobs work. They pay top dollar. They're really good with their employees, and whatever. So I was like, fine."
A woman's intuition ?
Several people had already gone on Facebook alerting others about Excel General Construction.
The Cruz's say the person who first called them was Christopher Mendoza, identified on this picture as corporate HR manager Excel General Construction.
But when she started investigating Mendoza, she came across the same picture, same job title, but a different name. Derrick Acosta.
Wait a minute!
She called one of the numbers she had for Excel. The one with a Philadelphia area code.
"I said why would you be showing the same picture, and advertising different positions? It makes no sense. They said oh, we do it all the time."
Still, Gilbert took it a step further, and paid Excel $85.00, up front, on what's called a money pack, to have a urine analysis done.
But when he showed up for the test today, his name wasn't on the appointment list.
In fact, he says they told him "a month of 2 prior to that, there was the same scam, but it was $150.00 each person that got scammed."
The Troubleshooters called the Philadelphia phone number, and left a message. We also called a second number with a 832 area code, but couldn't leave a message.
The Cruz's are understandably disappointed in themselves for falling for what appears to be a scam. But they hope by telling us about it, it'll prevent others for falling for the same story.