COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A local merchant said an angry customer attempted to pose as a Channel 2 Action News consumer investigator in an attempt to get free service.
She emailed a warning to the real consumer investigator, Channel 2's Jim Strickland.
Strickland did some investigating of his own and found customer Bradley Bahret at his Marietta home.
Kim Hardee had emailed Strickland about Bahret's dissatisfaction with the diagnosis of his computer.
"It was a rant, 'I'm on TV. You seen this with WSB and Clark Howard and Jim Strickland. This is what we do. I'm on TV all the time. We can ruin your business,'" Hardee recalled.
"Are you using my name at local merchants trying to berate them?" Strickland asked Bahret.
"I don't know what you're talking about, but you're harassing me right at the moment," he replied.
Strickland found Bahret had been arrested in 2012 for shoplifting and was the subject of a 1997 investigation for illegal stock trading. The judge issued an injunction against him in 1998.
Strickland also found a LinkedIn page where Bahret claimed to work for a place called Consumer Fraud Investigations but found no record of any such company.
"Have you ever seen this gentleman volunteering or working for Clark at all?" Strickland asked Team Clark Howard manager Lori Silverman.
"No, I have not," she said.
"You know who Clark Howard is? Did you tell folks you work for me and Clark Howard doing consumer fraud investigations?" Strickland asked Bahret.
"I don't even know you," Bahret admitted to Strickland.
While Hardee said Bahret was looking for a freebie from the beginning, he did pay the computer store's $50 diagnostic fee.