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Angie's List: Storm Season Scammers

Posted: 7:00 AM, Apr 26, 2016
Updated: 2019-03-04 10:44:56-05
SCAM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Spring is here and that means storm season is too. And when homes get damaged by wind, hail or any big weather event, scamming contractors will soon be circling. In today’s Angie’s List report, how to keep yourself from becoming their next victim.

Replacing a roof is a big job and a major investment, so when Green Frog Restoration told Eric Park they could replace his hail-damaged roof at no cost to him, it seemed like the perfect solution, "he drew up an estimate and said that they could pay the deductible of 1,500 dollars, so we wouldn’t have to worry about that and it shouldn’t cost us anything. Great, we’ll get a new roof.”

Eric didn’t know that most states forbid contractors from paying a homeowner’s deductible. He thought everything was above board, “just from the way they were talking, I had no reason to not believe they’re on the up-and-up. They know what they’re doing, they know the business.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Eric signed over his $4,800 insurance check and every time he called to get a start date, Green Frog had a reason to delay. He eventually had to take out a $10,000 loan and hire another company to do the work.

Angie says if a contractor gives you a 1-800 number or out-of-state business address, that’s a red flag. Also, you shouldn’t feel pressured to sign a contract on the spot, even if they say they need your signature to get on your roof to provide an estimate. As for Green Frog Restoration, its owners have been ordered to pay back more than $250,000 in Ohio and still face multiple lawsuits and criminal charges throughout the Midwest.