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Tuesday, June 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

BBB Tip of the Week: Watch out for roofing scams

By Tyler Russell BBB Northwest and Pacific

The time for construction projects is upon us. With the warmer weather and summer storms come roofing construction and roofing scams. 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, i.e., Minnesota or Texas, plus “Roofing” or “Construction” as their business name.

The “roofer” who calls or comes by offers a free inspection. Why, you ask? The person may claim 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.

When you accept the free inspection, the “inspector” shows up at your house. If they do not 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. Do not hire this company! Any repairs done by such a dishonest business are not likely to be high quality.

How to avoid the scam

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 as well, 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 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

To learn more about hiring a roofing company, see BBB.org/Roofers. You can also find valuable information at BBB.org/AvoidScams.

Also, for more information and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find them on our website at: www.bbb-businesses.org/COVID-19

If you’ve been the victim of a roofing scam, report it on BBB Scam Tracker immediately. Your report will help alert others to the danger of this or other potential scams.

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