Oklahoma Authorities Warning of Possible Roofing Scams

March 4, 2009

State and local officials in Oklahoma are warning property owners with damage from the Feb. 10 tornadoes and storms to beware of possible roofing scams.

In some cases the homeowner pays for roofing work but the work isn’t completed, said state attorney general’s spokesman Charlie Price, and sometimes the work is done poorly and when the roofer leaves the state the homeowner has little or no recourse.

Oklahoma City roofing company owner Erik Van De Steeg said some roofers will get a local phone number and buy the name of former roofing company to make themselves appear to be based in Oklahoma.

“They send salesmen, buy lots of advertising and open up shop for a few months,” Van De Steeg said. “Then they leave the state for the next storm-damaged area.”

Since Feb. 11, 27 roofers and general contractors, many from out of state, have become members of the Better Business Bureau serving central Oklahoma, said Rusty Trail, executive director for the organization.

He said their primary reason for joining is to enhance their reputability, and said if a property owner bases the decision to hire a roofer based on membership in the Better Business Bureau, he suggests they ask how long the roofer has been a member.

The tornadoes killed eight people in Lone Grove and caused damage in Oklahoma City, Edmond and in Carter, Coal, Love and Logan counties.

Information from: The Oklahoman, www.newsok.com

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