Having been the previous Executive Officer of the 104 and 109 Precincts, I just wanted to get the word out about what appears to be a new Roofing Scam...they unsuccessfully attempted it on me yesterday morning at my home in Long Island. Queens is not too far away, and I don't want to see anyone victimized. Please feel free to share this with your family, friends and neighbors alike.
At 10:30 AM a man knocks on my door from a carting company with a full sized Dumpster outside, and asks if I can move my vehicle so he can park the Dumpster in the street. I asked him what/who the dumpster was for (because I never requested one). He said it was for a roofing job to be done at my address. I told him I requested no such work to be done and requested him to leave with his dumpster, which he did.
At 12:30 PM a different man with a yellow vest knocks on my door, and with a full-sized tractor trailer flatbed outside (dark blue cab with Newcastle Construction with a rook logo in white lettering on the side) loaded up with pallets and shingles. Again, this man claims I am getting a new roof. I proceed to say (again) that I never ordered a roof. He then produces an invoice with my exact address on it, and again I tell him I never ordered a roof. Then he asks me if I rent or own, because if I rent the owner would have requested the roof and not me. Then he says to me "you should just let them do the work, get a free roof out of it, and then not pay for it." Again I refused, told him I was a police officer and asked him leave. He said he would "call his company back" to "clarify" and left. I looked for the company online, and the only ones I could find with the same name were in Alabama, California and the United Kingdom.
With the change in weather upon us, it is high time for roofing scams. I know these are unfortunately quite common when I was in the precincts, and I went ahead and did some research to gather more detailed information about the different ways these scams are conducted. The most common type of roofing scam is where a person claiming to be a roofer shows up, and says they looked at your roof from the street and see a problem with it and that it needs to be fixed immediately, and if it is not fixed right away they scare the homeowner that dire consequences (water damage, i.e., mold, dryrot) will ensue. They will insist upon an immediate payment (typically 3 to 4000) to do the "emergency work," and if you bite, they may either rip off a portion of your roof (and then never return to complete the job, while still billing you for the entire cost of the job), or spray it with some kind of "sealant"/spray paint. The most common thing with these scammers is that they are persistent, they will make several attempts to convince the owner to take the bait before moving on, and unfortunately they prey upon the elderly. If you did not initiate a job with a roofing contractor, or that contractor never conducted a pre-inspection of your home or quoted you a price which you agreed upon prior to performing any work, it's a scam. If someone does show up to your home with a truck and equipment which you did not request, try to get the company name and Dept. of Consumer Affairs license number (in NYC it will appear on the side of the truck if licensed), and report the company to the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, whether they have a DCA license or not.
Please be aware and be safe.
-Captain Gregory Mackie
Narcotics Borough Queens North