The Roofing Scam That Could Actually Make YOU A Criminal!

scammy_roof_company-150x150Scams have been around for as long as humans have been trading goods with one another. It’s no secret that there are a number of people out there who take advantage of others all the time and in most cases, people accept they were scammed and move on. What people don’t expect is to be held accountable for the scammers actions and facing not only being ripped off but criminal charges and possibly even jail time!

How in the world could the victim of a roof scam become a criminal? Sadly, as one of the more popular scams in the roofing industry , it involves the very thing that is supposed to help you when you need it most….insurance.

Used by scammers, out-of-state roofers, “one man band” roofers, door to door roofers, and even some of the shadier local roofing contractors in varying forms, this scam is so effective and smooth that the homeowner suspects nothing throughout the process until it’s too late.

The scam goes like this:

The “sales rep/scammer” confirms that your roof is not only covered by your insurance but, with a little finagling, can cost you little to nothing out of pocket, as they also happen to have a way to make it so you don’t even need to pay your insurance deductible! Incredible right?! Who doesn’t want to save money on their roof?

Ever see those signs by the road or flyers with large capital letters screaming out to you FREE ROOF? You know the ones.

The scammer goes on to say they have several “loopholes” that they use all the time to help the homeowner avoid paying the deductible, some of these “loopholes” include:

– “Paying” you X amount of money for placing a sign in your yard and calling it an “advertising fee”

– “Waiving” the final payment on the job by simply not collecting it

– “Allow” you to keep the depreciation when the insurance company

–  Pretty much any other suggestion that ends with you not paying the deductible or paying much less

The thing is, profit margins for roofing companies in general are usually razor thin, so by “paying the deductible for you” utilizing one of these or other methods, the scammers have eliminated most of their profit (if not all of it) from the job and must make up for it. The most common way to make up the loss is by using inferior or even stolen materials, using shortcuts, skipping work detailed by the insurance adjuster (but billing for it anyhow) and/or even over billing your insurance! In any case, you better bet they aren’t walking away without making money.

Once they have you hooked, they’ll make it appear like everything is going as planned and proceed to provide you with a fraudulent invoice, for YOU to submit to your insurance company (never them). The insurance company will then pay the invoice (which is always full price or more) and that seems to be the end of it. The scammer walks away with a wad of cash and you seemed to have gotten your roof for free!

Until the day comes when the inevitable happens, something fails and the original installer is no where to be found, the new roofer finds the shortcuts that were taken and must report it if an insurance claim is made. However they find out (and they will), once the insurance company figures out they didn’t get what they paid for, they will come for the person who filed the fraudulent claim.

Insurance fraud is committed by the person submitting the invoice (you), not the one who created it and depending on how much money is involved and where you live this could be a misdemeanor or worse, a felony with jail time and fines!

See, your insurance company allows for a certain amount of money to get your roof repaired. Basically this comes out to the fair market value of the cost of repairs plus the amount of your deductible (your out of pocket expenses). In most cases, they will release part of this money to get the work started, paying the balance when the work is completed according to the insurance adjusters report.

More importantly, if you are given any sort of “discount” (pretty much anything the scammer says to “zero” the deductible out), this must be shown on the final invoice, it is also expected that the materials used are quality materials with full warranties plus that all work that was in the adjuster’s report was done correctly and in full.

So in the end not only did if you overpay for a low quality roof that will likely need to be fixed or replaced entirely in as little as a few years (at full cost to you), but you could be looking at jail-time, large fines, and even losing your home altogether, not to mention a criminal record, all just to save few bucks on the deductible.

The best way to avoid this scam is to face the fact that, when the time comes, you will need to pay the insurance deductible. Don’t try to figure out ways around it (if you have a problem with the cost, talk to your insurance agent about lowering it but when it comes time to pay it, just pay it) and know who you are hiring by doing your homework and avoiding anyone who claims to be able to give you a free roof or pay your deductible in some form.


Atlanta Roofing Specialists has been providing premier roof contracting services since 1993, as one of Georgia’s most highly rated companies by multiple consumer agencies and websites, you can rest assured you are getting what you pay for at the best price possible! Call Atlanta Roofing Specialists today at 770-419-2222 for your FREE estimate!

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