Contractor Scams

January 08, 2014
 Don’t fall for roofing scams

For whatever reason, scam artists are drawn to the construction industry, and roofing is no exception. Roofing scams come in all shapes and sizes but the bottom line is that homeowners end up with less money and no work on their roofs to show for it. If you are looking to have any roofing work done, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind that can protect you from doing business with the wrong people.

Many types of scams

There are many different ways that scammers can con unsuspecting homeowners in regards to their roof. One of the most popular is the storm chaser. As the name implies, the scammer follows in the wake of a nasty storm where he knows roof damage will be extensive. By going door-to-door in hard hit neighborhoods they find homeowners willing to pay up-front for roofing work and then skip town without doing any work.

Other scammers impersonate actual roofing companies. One scammer in Tennessee for instance managed to get a list of homeowners who’d had roofs installed by a particular company. The scammer visited these homes claiming to be doing a follow-up inspection (for a small fee). The scammer collected the money and of course didn’t do any inspection or any repair work.

Some roofing contractors can be scammers as well. A roofing contractor may continually ask for money up front but then drag their feet when it comes to doing the repairs. After getting as much money as they can out of the homeowner they disappear.

Signs to watch for

Because of the many roofing scams, homeowners are understandably cautious of roofing companies that come knocking. Not every roofer that knocks on your door is a scam artist however. Many roofing companies do try to drum up business during the slower months by going door-to-door. There are a few things to watch for to help you distinguish between the con and a qualified roofer:

·         The roofer should drive a vehicle with a company logo

·         The roofer will probably wear some article of clothing bearing the company’s name or logo

·         A true roofing company will provide a written invoice with the company’s name

·         Payment by check should be made out to the name of the company not an individual’s name

If you still have doubts, you can always check with the Better Business Bureau in your area to make sure the roofing company is legitimate.

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