BBB warns ‘free’ roof inspection comes at a cost: ‘Homeowners should be on the lookout’

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MILWAUKEE — 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 get a door-to-door visit from someone claiming to represent a roofing company. According to recent Scam Tracker reports, con artists are often using the name of the state (i.e. Minnesota or Texas) plus “Roofing” or “Construction” as their business name.

The “roofer” offers you 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 Spot a Roofing Scam:

Beware of unsolicited offers. Most roofing scams begin with a roofer who “just happens to be in the area” and notices your roof needs a repair. Roofing scams increase in frequency in the wake of 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, get your insurance company to come out for an inspection to verify the need for repairs or replacements.

Look into 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.

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