The con-artist culture is growing year-on-year in the UK, with over 2,700 confirmed scam victims in 2018 alone. Unfortunately, roofing isn’t immune from these con-artists and cowboys and it’s more important than ever to stay vigilant.

An elderly couple in Birmingham recently fell victim to a roofing scam, where the culprit simply painted their tiles. In this post, we discuss how they were duped and how to avoid rip-off roofers on your property.

Vulnerable victims

The elderly couple from Northfield, just south of Birmingham, were told over the phone that they had around £400 worth of ridge tiles that needed replacing. Concerned and grateful to be alerted to the problem, the elderly couple eventually agreed to roofing work, which the scammers demanded almost £35,000 for.

The scam was only brought to an end, and the couple’s life savings protected, thanks to an off-duty police officer neighbour who reported the gang. While the police were able to recover some of the money, the couple were left around £5,000 out of pocket.

Later, when the roof was inspected, it was determined that no work had been done to their roof – other than a light coating of red paint. In fact, it appeared that some damage had been done from the excessive walking on tiles.

With 85% of doorstep scam victims aged 65 and over, it’s important to be aware of the key signs to look out for when spotting a con artist roofer so you can protect yourself and your loved ones…

Unsolicited contact

Even if you’re in desperate need of a new roof, avoid working with a roofer who knocked on your door or called your phone uninvited. Reputable, professional roofers will only contact you once you have made the first move to request their services.

Avoid opportunists

Unfortunately, there a number of scam artists out there that will target vulnerable home owners during a time of need. If there’s been a storm, intense rain or a long summer and a ‘roofer’ arrives on your doorstep to repair weather damage, the answer should always be no.

Get multiple quotes

Always avoid settling for the first quote that you receive, especially if it’s under suspicious circumstances. Good roofers take pride in their work, inspecting your roof thoroughly before talking you through problems and costs.

Don’t pay upfront

While some roofing companies will require an upfront deposit, you should never pay the full cost of work before the completion of the job. If your roofer is asking for payment upfront, to cover supplies, labour or material, it’s a sign you should look elsewhere.

Do your research

Generally, a quick Google search should tell you all you need to do about the reliability of a contractor. If they only have a mobile number available, have no reviews online or aren’t part of an established business, they’re probably not the roofer for you.

Choosing the right roofer

Roof replacements and repairs can be expensive. We get it. But opting for the cheapest, quickest option doesn’t always pay off in the long run. DPR Roofing in Pontefract is a team of local experienced roofers. Take a look at our past commercial roofing work to see a few examples of what we can do.