Roofing scams have been reported by seniors also. In the city of Oceanside, California, the police reported that seniors were tricked by roofing scams in a mobile home park there, and it was widely reported by the local media.
The scam was perpetrated by men who would appear at the doorsteps of the senior and offer roofing repair services to the trusting victims. They would go to the roof and look around for about thirty minutes, then would speak to the homeowner and demand from eight hundred to one thousand dollars for work they supposedly did while on the roof. If the homeowner expressed surprised at the amount charged, it would be reduced a couple hundred dollars, to appease the homeowner into paying the money. The scam artists will leave with the money after doing nothing to the roof of the victims.
This scenario just described, goes just contrary to the rules reputable licensed contractors are guided by in their operations with homeowners. They would advise that a homeowner always get a work quote in writing from a contractor, before they agree to any work to be performed on their property. This is for the protection of both the contractor and the homeowner, so if a contractor was legitimate, he would not have a problem signing such a quote. This way, a homeowner can be certain that the contractor has done the preliminary investigation of the roof properly. The signed quote will also be a document that could provide the contractor with legal recourse, should he need to take a homeowner to court for nonpayment.
It has become such an accepted practice to provide written up front quotes that they are even given without charge and even without obligation. These quotes are not given until the contractor performs a detailed examination of the homeowner’s property, and before any repairs are made. This was not done in the case of the now infamous Oceanside roof scammers.
The way most seniors can protect themselves from scammers is to ask for credentials as soon as they are confronted with roofing scammers at their door.
Such credentials will include:
* Insurance certificates – anyone could claim that they are insured, but that by itself is not enough. If properly covered they should hold general aggregate coverage of three million dollars at least, completed operations insurance of one million, and automobile liability coverage of five hundred thousand dollars. He must also have some proof of workers compensation insurance. Showing an insurance card is not good enough proof of a legitimate contractor.
* The contractor should offer several financial and payment options – if the demand is for credit card or cash only, you should immediately be suspicious of a scam.
* A roofing contractor operating legitimately would provide a quality assurance report of zero-defects. If a contractor cannot verify the quality of his work in this manner, then he is not performing quality work.
This writing has shown ways to identify roofing scams, and if the points here are carefully followed, you will prevent yourself from becoming a victim of scammers.