Better Business Bureau warns about free home inspection scams
Spring and summer warm weather brings both showers and roofing scams. BBB Scam Tracker is getting reports of “free” roof inspections that turn out to be anything but free.
How the Scam Works
You get a call or knock on the door from someone claiming to represent a roofing company. According to BBB Scam Tracker reports, con artists often use the name of the state plus “Roofing” or “Construction” as their business name. The bad mimics the good in order to sound legitimate.
The “roofer” offers a “free” inspection. The person may claim that their company’s working on a neighbor’s home, so “we’re offering free inspections to those living nearby.” But often when you ask questions about where the business is located or how their services work, you’ll just as often be met with vague answers. If so, this is a great big red flag.
What happens next if you accept the free inspection? 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 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 do 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 a roofing scam, report it on BBB.org/ScamTracker immediately. Your report will help alert others to the danger.