Roofing scams can be common, and fraudulent "companies" often spring up after storms or during poor weather, looking to make a quick buck by tricking people. These scams are often associated with residential areas, but more and more are also trying their hand at commercial scams.
These scams often work the same way: Someone contacts the company and says that their roof is badly damaged from a recent storm, or that similar buildings in the area have serious roof problems and the business needs an inspection immediately, rather than risk immense building damage and leaks. Then, sure enough, bad commercial roof damage will be found (unwary owners may not even know what their roofs look like, or should look like). Scammers then try to get paid for a job that they will never do and probably didn't need to be done in the first place.
So, how can businesses spot these scammers and false contractors when they come around? There are several signs that a contractor isn't being honest with you – here are the red flags that you should always watch for.
The Company Can't Provide References or a Portfolio of Their Work
Many scammers don't even make an effort to look like they have a real roofing business – they're just after easy marks that believe what they're told. If you ask these contractors for their website and a portfolio of work that they've done for other businesses in the past, they will tend to offer silly excuses or promptly disappear. Other scammers may direct you to a fake site or show a copied portfolio – always go deeper and look for reviews on their site and social profiles, as well as asking for direct reference letters from businesses that the roofer has worked with in the past. Scammers can't provide this information.
The Company is Not Insured or Licensed
A roofing company is required to be licensed and have the proper insurance for the work that they do. One of the easiest ways to find a scammer is to ask them for proof of their insurance and licensing. This documentation is very easy for real roofers to provide, and they're so used to doing so that you may not need to ask. Scammers, on the other hand, don't have insurance or licensing.
The Payment System is Suspicious
Scammers want a big payment upfront so they can make their getaway. Scamming contractors will ask for suspiciously large deposits before they start working, or insist on cash-only payments. They may charge large amounts just for the "inspections" they say you need.
Immediate Action is Encouraged
Finally, remember that scammers are almost always very pushy. They will pressure companies to make immediate decisions and insist that the job cannot wait. Their goal is to get paid, right now, during this conversation, and anything that avoids that will be met with harsh resistant. Never trust a contractor that gets too pushy.
Want to make sure you're working with a professional and experienced roofing company? Schedule your inspection with MG Roofing today! We provide a variety of services for commercial and industrial rooftops and will be happy to answer any questions you have or provide a quote for your project.