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September 27, 2013

Possible roofing repair scam reported

GREENVILLE — The Greenville Police Department is warning local residents of a potential roofing repair scam operating in the city.

A roofer from Greenville was upset to hear about the incident, as it cast doubts on the honest workers in his profession.

The department issued a statement Thursday, indicating it was investigating a report of a possible fraud which occurred Wednesday at a Sayle Street residence.

The female victim was contacted by two white males claiming she had damage to her roof and gave her what seemed to be a very low estimate to repair it. After the victim agreed, the two subjects banged around on the roof for a while, climbed down and claimed she owed them in excess of $2,300, more than the original estimate.

The victim explained that she did not have that amount available and the subjects agreed to take a lesser amount and left the area. It was later determined the two men had painted the roof vents and had done no other repairs.

The suspects are described as having brown hair, 22-29 years old; one around 6 feet tall and the other approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall with Hispanic traits.

The police department issued a reminder that any individual soliciting goods and services door-to-door must have a permit issued by the city. If solicitors are unable to produce this permit, resident are urged to call the police department at 903-457-2900 to report the incident.

Shane Stovall is a general manager for Massive Roofing Systems in Appleton, Wisc. A Greenville native who still resides locally during the winter, Stovall contacted the Herald-Banner upon seeing the information about the incident.

“I hate it when I hear stories like this. It gives the good guys a bad name,” Stovall said. “However, it’s another prime example of whatever the profession, greed and corruption follow the money closely. I hope they find and prosecute these guys to the fullest extent of the law.”

He recommended homeowners always take steps to safeguard themselves against potential fraud when approached by someone looking to make repairs to their roof. Stovall said homeowners should always ask for multiple estimates, check the company’s Better Business Bureau rating and how long they have been in business and investigate any references to the company on social media and/or sites like Angie’s List.

“Make sure they carry at least $2 million in liability insurance, and workmans comp,” Stovall said. “Also, always check the subcontractors out as well.”

He said the above advice would be especially valuable following a catastrophic hail storm, which Greenville has not experienced in several years.

“But believe me, when we do, hundreds of contractors will descend on the Town with probably 800 to 1,000 salesman going door to door soliciting roof repairs,” Stovall said.

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