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Beware of Roof and Home Repair Rip-offs, Price Gouging in wake of storm

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Beware of door-to-door roof and home repair companies. Recent reports from the Houston area indicate that home repair scams, especially roof repairs, are an ongoing problem. With Hurricane Claudette now bearing down on the Texas coast, seniors should be especially cautious. Our experience has been that after a major storm, fly-by-night repair companies may try to take advantage of homeowners anxious to replace lost shingles and seal leaks. Beware of unscheduled, impromptu inspections of your home, especially your roof, by anyone who comes to your door. Exercise the same caution you would use at any other time. Use licensed or bonded contractors or builders, don't be rushed into signing a contract, and don't pay for work that has not been done. Get the terms of any warranties in writing and ask for references from other customers.



Outside the path of the storm, con artists may try to convince you that there are problems with your roof, and may demand advance payment. Some of these scammers may appear professional and may be very polite and friendly. Do not be lulled into agreeing to pay for repairs on a perfectly good roof. In some cases, the "roofer" even offers to drive the victim to the bank to get cash. If a repairman approaches you about repairs you aren't sure you need, be very cautious. If that person tries to pressure you into withdrawing money from your bank account, call your local police. You can also read about price-gouging on our Web site.

General Abbott's signature
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

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