Over the last several years, there has been in increase in the impact of shady contractors, particularly roofing contractors, who prey on consumers who may have experienced damage to their properties from storms or natural disasters.
These “Storm Scammers” offer fast and cost-effective repairs which, in many cases, are not needed. They convince uninformed property owners they need repairs, and that they will help the owner obtain reimbursement for the repairs from the insurance company.
Many scams begin with a knock at your door, or an unsolicited telephone call by someone claiming to be a contractor. Unfortunately, many of these scammers imitate legitimate contractors, so protect yourself by checking your contractor out, before agreeing to an inspection.
According to the National Storm Damage Center (“NSDC”), you should confirm that any contractor you work with is properly licensed, insured, and provides 3 local references.
The NSDC cites the following Warning Signs as the most common indicators that the person or company you are speaking with might be running a scam.
- Not properly licensed
- No insurance or under-insured
- No local office (beware of P.O. boxes and hotel addresses)
- Won’t provide local references
- Demands up-front cash or deposit
- Shows up on convicted criminals and/or sex offenders list