Police: American Way Remodeling contractor scams elderly in North County; looking for other victims

Posted at 1:04 PM, Jun 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-18 20:39:32-04

Police in North County were looking Saturday for potential victims of a contractor scam that targets elderly home owners, after the arrest of a man on suspicion of elder abuse and other charges, according to authorities.

Oceanside police say that in April 2016, 32-year-old Yair Zilberman contacted a 96-year-old victim in a senior neighborhood of Oceanside and provided him a quote for multiple services related to air duct replacement and insulation.

Zilberman operated under the company name "American Way Remodeling," according to Oceanside Police Officer Ryan Keim. The victim accepted Zilberman's quote and Zilberman completed a portion of the work.

Zilberman then told the victim of extensive mold in the attic and stopped work before taking the victim to the bank, where $15,000 was withdrawn to get rid of the mold, Keim said.

It was later determined that there had never been any mold in the victim's attic and Zilberman agreed to refund the money, but sent the victim a check with insufficient funds, according to Keim.

Zilberman had also allegedly been involved in a recent similar incident in Escondido.

He was taken into custody June 13 in Los Angeles County by Oceanside Police detectives, and later booked into the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of financial elder abuse, burglary and a parole violation, according to Keim.

Zilberman is scheduled to appear in Vista Superior Court on Monday for arraignment. He is being held on $200,000 bail.

The Oceanside and Escondido police departments are investigating to determine if there are other unreported incidents and victims. A picture of Zilberman is available from Oceanside police.

Potential victims or witnesses were encouraged to call Oceanside Police Detective Karla Williams at (760) 435-4771 or Escondido Police Detective John LaRose at (760) 835-4730.