Archive for the ‘Scams’ Category

Roof Scammer Arrested

Baton Rouge police spokesman Lt. Don Kelly announced in a press release that 24 year old Brandon Ferguson of Baker was arrested at his home on Myrtle St., for scamming elderly victims out of money for faulty or non-existent roof repair. Ferguson is charged with three counts of theft of assets of an aged person and one count of felony theft.

Ferguson and other unidentified accomplices contacted the victims in the Red Oaks and Broadmoor areas over the past month. They told at least three victims that they needed a protective coating or had roof problems that needed repair. They quoted the victims, all in their 80’s, low prices and then intimidated them into paying more once the work was complete.

Useless “Protective Coating” Applied

According to the police, the protective coating they quoted was actually spraying paint on the roof.

Ferguson is also accused of taking jewelry from inside one of the homes.

Unfortunately the elderly can be easy targets for this type of scam. In most cases, the victims are unable to physically check their roof for repairs that are needed or supposedly completed.

The Baker Police Department are trying to determine if there are any more victims from these con men. Please contact the BRPD Financial Crimes Division at 225-389-3871 if you or someone you know may have been a victim in the Red Oaks and Broadmoor or surrounding areas.

Prison Time for Roof Repair Scammer

In Madison County Nebraska, 29 year old Jerry Hendon from Garland, received 18-24 months for each of the two counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition. Two residents from Norfolk were taken for thousands of dollars for roof work that was never completed.

Hendon told victims he was working with a company called Exterior Torch, provided a business card and quoted a price as a roof contractor. Exterior Torch said Hendon was a former employee.

One victim paid in cash and the other wrote a check leaving the “pay to” line blank. The roof repair was never started and the victims were unable to reach Hendon.

Hendon Said he Used the Money for Sick Daughter

Hendon said he used the money to keep his daughter in an Omaha neonatal intensive care unit instead of being transferred to another hospital. He told Judge Robert Ensz in Madison County district court that he didn’t see himself as a con artist.

Madison County deputy attorney Mike Long said “it was clearly a scheme to defraud people. I don’t think a reasonable person would to come to any other conclusion.”

Hendon has an active warrant on the same type of charges in Kentucky for a similar scam. Kyle Melia, Hendon’s lawyer said he intended to finish the contract in Kentucky as soon as he finished his work in Nebraska but in the meantime, he was arrested.

Hendon will serve another 16 months, with credit for time served to become eligible for parole. He will then be taken to Kentucky to face charges there. He will have 2 years following his release to pay restitution to each victim.

FEMA Help For New Roofs

FEMAAfter the recent hurricane, many families in the northeast are facing a tough road ahead to rebuild and move on. For homeowners in need of roof repair the challenges are even greater, as roof scams tend to increase around times like these.

A Cautious Road To Repair

Some of the indications of an non-reputable roofing company could be:

  • Unsolicited salesman
  • Representing FEMA without proof of affiliation
  • Offering to file claims with FEMA or your insurance on your behalf
  • Asking for upfront payment under the stipulation for later reimbursement

In order to protect your family from illegitimate roofing services, there are a few things you can do when seeking the help from FEMA.

First, contact your insurance company to file a claim.

Next, contact FEMA directly to register for their assistance. They can be reached at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585, or going online at

While not all roofers that knock on your door offering to help with your roof damage are illegitimate, there are certain things you can do to ensure you are getting the best help possible.

  • Ask friends and neighbors for referrals to a roofing company.
  • Obtain multiple bids for repair costs and be sure to obtain proof of their licensure and insurance as a professional organization.
  • Wait until you have approval from your insurance company or FEMA before having any work done to your home.



2 Arrested in Wake Forest Roofing Scam

In Wake Forest North Carolina, two men were arrested for damaging a man’s roof and then requesting payment to repair it.

28 year old Charles Ray Barnes Jr. and 27 year old Travis Kevin Tyndall were arrested at Mockingbird Lane and charged with obtaining property by false pretenses, conspiracy and injury to real property.

In the warrant Officer D.L. Hess wrote, the two men tried to get $525 by making “a representation about a future event, to repair false roof damages.” Officer Hess went on to say “Mr. Barnes Jr. climbed the roof and used a cutting instrument to cut a hole in it.”

Not this Offenders First Time For Roofing Scam

Tyndall was also served a warrant from Raleigh police charging him with an earlier incident where he is accused of taking $1,482.17 for materials and labor for a home repair and skipping out.

Roofing scams are unfortunately becoming a common occurrence. Protect yourself and your property by being diligent about checking out would-be contractors. A common ruse is to knock on a homeowner’s door and say they could see damage on the homeowner’s roof (from the street, from a neighbor’s house etc.) and offer to repair it. Unless you see a legitimate roofing crew working on your neighbor’s home, this is probably a scam.

Do not let strangers on your roof unless you specifically call a roofing company and ask for an estimate. Best practice is to get 2 or 3 estimates and check with the Better Business Bureau in your area for any complaints about the roofing company or contractor.

Memorial Day Roof Scams

memorial dayAs families gather to spend time together and remember our fallen soldiers this Memorial Day, scam artists will be on the prowl for new victims. Unfortunately, holidays bring out some of the worst in business related crimes and many fraudulent companies see a time of celebration as an open door for tricking consumers.


The Better Business Bureau has released a warning to consumers to be on the lookout for scams over the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. Anyone from handymen to roof contractors has the potential to be represented by the worst of the worst. Although there are plenty of high quality roofers around, many fraudulent companies impersonate the good hoping to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

In order to combat these risks to homeowners, the BBB has outlined a list of the most common scams observed around this time of year:

  • Roof salesmen offering deals for military servicemen or those displaying support for the soldiers
  • Solicitors posing as representatives from the Veterans Administration, asking for personal or financial information
  • Salesmen offering pre-approved Veteran loans for mortgages or credit cards
  • Impersonate servicemen asking for financial help to get home or pay for medical bills



3 Arrested for Fraud and Damaging a Roof

Lumberton New Jersey Police arrested 2 men and a teenager Thursday after a tip from a roofing contractor. The contractor was suspicious when he drove past the victim’s house and saw the 3 suspects working on the roof he had fixed last year.

The 3 suspects were taken into custody shortly after causing $3,000 worth of damage to a disabled veteran’s roof. Paul Frank, Larry Mitchell and an unidentified teenager were charged with burglary, theft by deception, criminal mischief and conspiracy, performing electrical work without a business permit and failure to register as contractors.

The suspects allegedly went to the victim’s home and told him his roof was leaking, since he is disabled and in a wheelchair he was unable to verify the damage and he gave the men $5,500 to make the roof repairs.

Malicious Swindlers

As if taking the man’s money wasn’t enough, the suspects tore two large holes in the victim’s roof with a crow bar exposing the attic. They forced open 2 electrical boxes and disconnected the wires. They also allegedly sprayed a black substance on the shingles, molding and gutters.

The two men were taken to Burlington County Jail and the teenager was taken to Burlington County Juvenile Detention Center. Mitchell was released on $20,000 bail and Frank’s bail was raised to $50,000 due to previous crimes he was charged with.

Lumberton officials are helping the victim to find legitimate contractors to fix the damage caused by the 3 suspects.

New Jersey Charges 2 Contractors for Roof Fraud

The lawsuit comes from nearly 70 complaints for John Kot and Gabriel DeSilva allegedly performing substandard work or no work at all after being paid.

The two men have several businesses, including A-1 American Construction Inc., Brick City Chimney Service LLC, American Chimney Limited Liability Company, Brick Chimney Service and Cleaning Inc. and Roofing Police or Roofing Squad.

Some of the complaints were shoddy roof repair work and when the roof problems became worse and the roof leaked, the defendants refused to fix it despite making promises and guarantees. Refusing to return customers deposits for work that was never done, not honoring guarantees or warranties in contracts and not obtaining necessary state or local permits.

Fraud In Several Counties

The complaints came from Union County, Somerset County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Morris County. The state wants restitution for Kot’s and DeSilva’s customers.

The lawsuit was filed in State Superior Court in Bergen County. The defendants are charged with performing home improvement work in a substandard manner which resulted in dangerous and/or unsafe conditions for consumers, in some cases constituting a potential fire and safety hazard. State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said “we allege that these defendants defrauded consumers of their hard earned money”.

Of all the businesses operated by Kot and DeSilva, the only two I found at Better Business Bureau of New Jersey were A-1 American Construction Inc., and Roofing Police, both have an alert attached.

Lilburn Man Arrested in Roofing Scam

In Georgia, 66 year old Billy Ray Norris has been charged with theft by deception for taking payments for roof repairs and then disappearing. According to City of Stone Mountain Police Chief Chancey Troutman, Norris defrauded elderly homeowners in his city, and nearby Johns Creek and Dunwoody.

Troutman said “Norris is the one that goes to the elderly’s homes and tries to do work on the roof and takes a certain amount of money and goes on about his business.”

Sadly these types of scams are more common that people would like to believe. Senior citizens can be easy prey as they generally do not get on the internet and check out people who might do work on their homes. They also want to remain independent and make the decisions regarding their homes and are less likely to call other people for advice.

Help Them Stay Safe

If you have elderly family members or some of your neighbors are elderly, let them know you would be willing to check up on any one who comes to their door offering to do roof work or any other unsolicited repairs. Some red flags are no business signs on their work vehicle, they ask for a large sum or all of the money up front, they do not have a brick and mortar place of business, they do not have insurance or licenses in the state that you live in or they are not willing to give you any references.

Better Business Bureau has an easy to use website that allows you to put in a person or business name and see if they have any complaints filed against them. If the repair need is genuine, most reputable roofing companies will come out and give you free estimates.

Tornado Victims Target Of Roof Scams

tornado scamAs severe weather season begins, homeowners have many things to be cautious about. Roof repair scams tend to increase in numbers during the spring season and many innocent homeowners become the target of unprofessional roof contractors without even knowing it.

Unsolicited Aid

After an area suffers damage from a natural disaster such as a tornado, it is common for people to come to the aid of their fellow neighbors. Firefighters, first aid workers, food shelters and even insurance claim specialists may show up unannounced in efforts to help those who were affected by the storm. While this aid is often highly appreciated it does provide shelter for some unscrupulous people to sneak in to take advantage.

For the reputable roof contractor operating under professional and ethical standards, the increase in roof scams poses quite a challenge. Many roofers are hoping to get the word out to homeowners about how to spot and avoid a scam. In general, homeowners are cautioned to:

  • Avoid door-to-door roof salesmen or anyone claiming to provide roofing services
  • Be wary of unsolicited sales calls or roofing bids from companies by phone or in person
  • Watch out for anyone pushing for a signed contract right away or unwilling to provide a written estimate of services
  • Take steps to obtain a copy of the roofing company’s license/credentials and insurance
  • Verify their reputation with the Better Business Bureau or community reviews



Florida Nabs Roofing Scammers in Sting

Polk County Sherriff’s Office conducted an undercover operation and arrested 5 people for attempting to scam a woman into unneeded roofing repairs.

The suspects are part of a nomadic community referred to as Travelers. Travelers generally follow storms into other states and will go door to door and offer to do repairs at cut rate costs.

Working with the police, a senior citizen posed as a woman worried about her roof. After a reputable roofing company had checked out her roof and found that it did not need any repairs, she called several companies known to be Traveler type businesses for estimates.

• Bartholomew and Patrick Rafferty of Rafferty Roofing told the woman that her roof needed repair and they would fix it for $975.
• Alexander Parker and Charles Evans told the woman her roof had several nails “popping up” and the areas around the vents were dry rotted. They offered to fix the roof for $600.
• A 17 year old solicited an elderly Lake Alfred man for doing unnecessary repairs on his home. The teen charged $600 for dumping tar on the roof and pouring rocks on top of it.

Sheriff Grady Judd said “Scam artists like these will stop at nothing to get your hard-earned cash. They use intimidation, fear and confusing conversation to coerce victims out of their money. Don’t be fooled by their sales pitch or their professional appearances.”

Some of these Travelers can be pretty slick, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Contact local, reputable roofing companies and ask for references and call around to check them out. You can also contact your local Better Business Bureau to ask if any complaints have been made against a contractor that you are considering.