By doing some quick Google searches, you will see that home repair scams are all too prevalent in North Carolina, with spring being one of the prime times for unsavory schemes. Here are just a few of the articles that provide warnings against this kind of treachery.
In 2012, Carolina Country published this article: “Avoid Home Repair Scams After Disasters.” In the article they share this advice: “When it comes time to hire someone for restoration work, beware of scam artists. After a disaster hits an area you can be bombarded with people who don’t necessarily have the licensing or credentials to be doing restoration work. Frequently, these fly-by-night operators drive vehicles with out-of-state license plates or set up temporary offices which they can vacate quickly once authorities start looking for them.”
Here’s the headline of a newspaper article from CBS North Carolina in 2015: “NC Folks Warned of Home Repair Scams and Price Gouging After Storms.” The article shares that “When storms hit or weather leaves homes damaged, the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office says scams and price gouging can be concerns.”
In 2016, the North Carolina Consumers Council published this article: “North Carolina Attorney General Warns Consumers to Beware of Flood, Roof, and Tree Repair Scams.” In it, they tell people to look out for “storm chasers,” meaning “roofing scammers who visit or call neighborhoods that were hit hard after a storm and offer to inspect your roof. They almost always determine that the roof needs to be replaced, even when it does not.”
Also from 2016, an article warns that “Scammers collecting up-front payments to fix roofs and remove downed trees, and posing as charities and FEMA workers, have followed previous storms to North Carolina and are likely to happen again.”
Fast-forwarding to 2018, a new article warns that, although many nice things happen in spring – from warming temperatures to robin sightings – something also shows up “that’s somewhat less welcome – home repair fraud.” In fact, the article shares, the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office just recently filed two civil court cases pending against people accused of home repair fraud.
Roofing Scams: What to Do – and Not to Do
Many of these articles provide specific warnings about roofing scams. CBS North Carolina, for example, shares this insight: “What we will sometimes see are people showing up unsolicited at people’s doorsteps offering to repair roofs or other parts of the house and quoting a price and then high pressure sales tactics. The consumer pays cash up front and then the person disappears. They’ve taken their money,” explained Kevin Anderson who heads the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
The article by North Carolina Consumers Council, meanwhile, shares tips on how to respond when contacted by people who offer roofing services. Tips include:
- DO NOT hire roofers who solicit business by going door to door or leaving flyers. These may well be people who will leave town before they finish your repairs and, if they leave, it may be impossible to get them back to finish the work.
- DO watch for storm chasers, as described above. They will very likely tell you that your roof needs repaired, even when it doesn’t.
- DO NOT assume that promises made of a free roof are genuine. These storm chasers may tell you that your homeowner’s insurance policy will pay for a new roof, even if it’s not true.
- DO beware of low-quality materials and work.
Read the article for even more information about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of roofing fraud.
The site of Attorney General Josh Stein offers more recommendations to help prevent anyone from pulling a home repair scam over on you. These include:
- Asking people you trust – friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members – for recommendation of a quality general contractor or specialist
- Checking out a company before choosing them to do your repairs; you can check with the Better Business Bureau and/or Attorney General’s Office to see if complaints have been filed
- Asking the general contractor or specialist for references
- Requesting a written estimate that details what work will be done, at what cost, by what estimated deadline
- Asking for guarantees on materials and service
Beware whenever anyone asks for all money up front. A down payment may be required, but payment in full ahead of service completion is not. And, pay with a check or credit card, not in cash – and be especially wary of any company that insists on cash only.
You Can Count on Camden Roofing & Construction
We have been serving our community of Charlotte, North Carolina since 2010, and are proud of our A rating with the Better Business Bureau. We provide superior craftsmanship and excellent customer service in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina areas. As an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor, we can provide extended roofing warranties on our installations, backed by Owens Corning.