BBB warns of alleged carport business scam

Sheriff’s office investigating after several complaints filed

By Terri Flagg -

A Mount Airy based business is under investigation by county law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for allegedly failing to build carports as promised to customers who had already paid for the service.

The BBB issued a statement Monday warning consumers about Better Built Garages, a carport and storage building installation business located on Old Highway 601 in Mount Airy.

The consumer protection organization had received 15 complaints about the business since July, according to the statement.

“Multiple customers allege the F-rated Better Built Garages may no longer be in business despite having collected down payments — often 50 percent of the total cost of a structure — for garages the business has yet to deliver months later,” stated BBB spokesperson Claire Barham.

“The recent onslaught of consumer issues prompted BBB to dissect the complaints for patterns, leading to an investigation.”

According to information found on the bureau’s website as well as the website of Better Built Garages, the company is owned by Amy Torres.

Information provided at the N.C. Secretary of State website confirmed Torres as the registered agent of the company.

The Better Built Garages principal office and the owner’s address are both located at the same address on Old Highway 601 in Mount Airy, according to articles of incorporation filed in February 2015.

The website states that the business has been open since 1991, and the BBB said a file was first opened on the company in 2008.

Several recent incident reports had been made to the Surry County Sheriff’s Office referencing a similar situation.

Sheriff Graham Atkinson said an investigation is ongoing.

“We have identified suspects and anticipate criminal charges will be forthcoming,” said Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson, declining to identify the suspect or release any additional information.

“We expect further information will be released,” he said, but as of Monday afternoon, “to maintain the integrity of the investigation it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

Three sheriff’s office incident reports from July 29 state that the victims had paid for a carport and not received it.

The amounts paid were listed on those reports as $3,083.95, $4,775 and $7,500.

A June 30 report does not list a value and states that the victim paid for a building that was not delivered.

Two additional obtain property by false pretense reports were filed Aug. 5 and Aug. 6, one for $8,202.62 and the other for $2,597.42.

Those reports state that the suspect “took victim’s money.”

It is not clear if those reports are related to the alleged carport scam.

The Better Business Bureau encouraged consumers who have experienced a negative situation with Better Built Garages to alert the BBB, the N.C. Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s office investigating after several complaints filed

By Terri Flagg

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

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