One of the most common among roofing scams is when the home roofing contractor in question makes an agreement to replace a roof, and then asks for a down payment prior to the work commencing. Said company will claim that a down payment has to be made in order that they can purchase materials or pay for the necessary labor. However, the same roofing firm does not return to carry out the work after they receive the check.
In general, the roofing company will manage to convince the homeowner to either cash or sign over an insurance check in the form of a down payment. And this is a scam that occurs on a regular basis.
Typically, the incident will happen to a homeowner who already owns their home outright, given that the checks are frequently made out to a homeowner in addition to the mortgage company. It’s these people who are targeted since it can take quite some time to see the funds released by the mortgage company.
Nevertheless, it’s still a relatively commonplace scam that is experienced by those who are still in the home financing stage. After all, even if there is a mortgage to be paid on the home, the insurance check will be made out to both the homeowner as well as the mortgagee. Thus, the roofer will then forge a stamp of endorsement on the rear of the check, after which, they can deposit it at their leisure. In essence, this does in fact represent a major crime.
Do not be tempted to hand over an insurance check
Whenever a homeowner goes ahead with the filing of a claim for roof damage with their insurance company, an adjuster is sent out by the company to note down the damage details. A check is then issued by the insurance company for a lesser amount than total replacement cost. Nevertheless, it can still amount to a sizeable sum of money.
A homeowner should utilize these funds in the form of an initial payment. Then, once the job is completed by the contractor, the total bill is forwarded to the insurance company and the remaining balance is paid.
However, when a contractor takes advantage of a homeowner, typically, it’s the initial check that they walk away with.
Thus, a down payment should never be paid to a roofing company, at least not until the supplies are delivered.
The way to guarantee against this form of fraud is to only do business with a roofing company that will begin your project without the necessity for a down payment. Either that, or a delivery of the materials is made without down payment.