Woman helps uncover scam

Cherokee County authorities arrested a Dawsonville man who they said has been preying on elderly people. They said 58-year old Mark Ellis has been scamming them out of their money. His scheme worked on Linda Bray, but she caught on to his tricks and helped blow his scam wide open.

Bray had a Stair Lift chair installed in her home about five years ago. A few months ago she got a call saying a part on the chair was recalled and it needed to be repaired. Bray said Ellis, who originally installed the chair, offered to do the repair. The job cost more than $300.

Bray said she soon had a funny feeling about the so-called repair.

“I started thinking, something isn't right. I think I've just been scammed!” said Bray.

So she started making calls. She called the manufacturer and the company where she bought the chair, and learned there was no recall on the parts. That's when she called police.

Investigators tracked down Mark Ellis and arrested him. Gwinnett County investigators said a man in their county saw the story and recognized Ellis as a man who scammed him out of $750. Gwinnett County Police said they've also learned of two other people in area who were victims of Ellis.

Bray said she's learned her lesson and wants to warn others.

“Just be on your guard and if you get any signal something is not right, check it out,” said Bray.

Authorities said at this point they don't know how many people Ellis tricked out of their money, but they believe there are many others. If you recognize Ellis, and gave him money, call police and let them know.

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