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With the warmer weather and summer storms, roofing scams become more common. BBB Scam Tracker frequently receives 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 Scam Tracker reports, con artists often use the name of the state (i.e. Minnesota or Texas) 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. Don’t hire this company! Any repairs done by such a dishonest business are not likely to be high quality.
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
If you’ve been the victim of roofing scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker immediately. Your report will help alert others to the danger.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.