Beware Roofing Scams
It never fails; rough weather and storms draw con men, also called storm chasers. Their goal is to execute the perfect roofing scam. They target those who are frustrated and upset, as well as the elderly. Let’s face it- after a huge storm, most homeowners are upset to find they have roof damage. Caution is in order when dealing with any home improvement company, especially after a storm. An increase in roofing scams has many people now asking questions, which is good.
All Surface Roofing has been providing Portland roof cleaning for years, and offers some advice. Some homeowners do not have local roofers with whom they can rely. Many people have no idea who their local roofers are! This is one reason why it is always a good idea to have gutter cleaning and other smaller tasks done before a storm hits, so you can get to know which companies you can trust. Here are some things to watch for if you do not have a roofer.
Different Roofing Scams
It is important to note that not all roofing scams include money being paid for a job that is never done. Be very wary of supposed roofers who come knocking on the door uninvited. Many scammers pose as roofers just to gain entry to the home to case it. Their only intention is to see what may be worth coming back to steal. These people often come in an unmarked vehicle, and just show up after a storm. Don’t let anyone who comes uninvited into your home.
The most common type of scammer is the one with which we are most familiar. They will offer unbelievable deals to fix your roof. Of course, they have no intention of providing that service. These con men (and women) will agree to the amount the insurance company has provided, or will offer to work for even less. They will always want either the entire amount, or a large portion of it up front. Reliable and trustworthy roofers will never ask you to do this. When this happens, a red flag should go up.
The Elderly and Roof Scammers
The elderly, unfortunately, are very often targets of these con men. If you have a friend, relative or neighbor who lives alone, it may be wise to look out for them after storms. If you are a relative, maybe ask them to call you before they hire anyone. Neighbors can be helpful by just keeping an eye out for scammers in the area, or seeing someone in a van talking to the elderly neighbor. Many older folks have had their life savings taken by these criminals.
Of course, anyone can be the target, so remember these things when you need a roofer:
- Never hire a roofer that is going door to door
- Contact several roofers for bids
- Get referrals from friends and neighbors
- Never pay out in advance
- Ask a lot of questions
- Never hire a contractor from outside your area
- Don’t hire anyone “on the spot”. Collect several bids first
- Contact local roofers
- If you have a gut feeling that something is a scam, trust it
Law enforcement is getting better at catching these thieves, but it is best to protect yourself against them to begin with. There is so much to worry about after a storm. Be sure you prepare yourself for roofing scams before they happen.