HEADLINES

CT BBB: Free Roof Inspection Scam

   
   
CROMWELL, CT — With warmer weather and summer storms on the horizon, roofing scams become more common. This spring, BBB Scam Tracker is already receiving reports of shady “free” roof inspections. Homeowners should be on the lookout for these cons.
 
How the Scam Works
 
You receive a call or a person shows up at the door claiming to represent a roofing company. According to recent Scam Tracker reports, con artists often use the name of the state plus “Roofing” or “Construction” as their business name.
 
The “roofer” offers a free inspection. Why, you ask? The person may claim that their company is working on a neighbor’s home and is offering inspections to those living nearby. But if you ask questions about where the business is located or how their services work, you’ll most likely be met with vague answers, or, if you are speaking on the phone, they may simply hang up.
 
You accept the free inspection, and the “inspector” shows up at your house. If they don’t find enough wear and tear to merit a whole new roof, they may fabricate it, by tearing off shingles to mimic wind damage. Or they may simply show you pictures of someone else’s damaged roof. Be wary of hiring this company! Do your own research first. Repairs done by businesses that are dishonest from the get-go are often shoddy and may not be up to par.
 
One Stratford woman says what started as an offer to clean her gutters for $50 turned into a shoddy $5,000 roof repair.
 
“They put the fear of God in me, and it worked,” she told Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut.
 
The woman said she’d hired handymen this way before and had a positive experience. This time, it was different. 
 
“They didn’t do what they put in writing that they were going to do,” she explained.
 
Soon, she says the scammers were pressuring her to give them $40,000 to replace the entire roof. She reported the scam to BBB’s Scam Tracker and filed a complaint with Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection.
 
 
How to Avoid Roofing Scams
  • Beware of unsolicited offers. Most scams begin with a contractor who “just happens to be in the area” and notices your roof or home has the appearance of needing repairs from the outside. Roofing scams typically increase in frequency after a powerful storm, so stay alert.
  • Get your insurance company to inspect your roof. Filing a claim with your insurance company goes on your record and could affect future claims or your continued coverage. Before signing any paperwork or contracts with a roofing company, have your insurance company to come out for an inspection to verify the need for repairs or replacements.
  • Research roofing companies before you hire. Look at a company’s business rating on BBB.org. Keep a close eye on previous reviews and any complaints other consumers might have had. This is one of the best ways to know if a roofing company is reputable or just a cover for a scam.
For More Information
 
Contact Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut to speak with the victim mentioned in this release.
 
To learn more about hiring a roofing company, see BBB.org/Roofers. You can also find valuable information at BBB.org/ScamTips and our Consumer HQ.
 
If you’ve been the victim of roofing scam, report it on BBB Scam Tracker immediately. Your report will help alert others to the danger.

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