RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – If you think your home needs some roofing work - a warning, crooks may be looking to take your cash. Consumer organizations like the better Business Bureau say simple things like asking for a contractors license or doing reference checks could mean the difference between being a victim or a happy customer.
"I don't know how people can do this to other people when they have mothers and grandmothers, would they do it to their own mother or grandmother?," said Kathy Rolfe.
Kathy believes her 91-year-old other was duped by someone claiming her roof needed work.
"She wrote him two separate checks that totaled $9,800," Kathy said.
The suspected crook struck last year and again this year.
"He purportedly, this time repaired the flashing again and the shingles and cleaned the gutters and charged her $2,800," she said.
Kathy showed us the checks -- nearly $13,000. Her elderly mother was too ashamed to go on camera or do an interview.
"She said she realize she has made an error and will turn people away," Kathy added.
Kathy took pictures of the roof that she thinks is perfectly fine. She was able to catch the potentially fraudulent activity because of a voice mail claming her mom needed more work done. She contacted police and her mother's bank .
"The fellow at the bank was really good and she came to the bank and she said, 'I made a stupid mistake' and he said, 'no you are a victim' and I think that is what people need to realize is that the need to be on guard," Kathy said.
Workers at K-D-C Contractors have been in business for over 20 years. They advise people to do their research and get several estimates before hiring a roofing company -- they've heard the horror stories.
"Some of these people with tears in their eyes from being scammed. It is really heartbreaking and it makes me angry because somebody was scammed like that because it is in my area of work," said employee Robert Hudson.
K-D-C says it shows customers its contractors license and insurance information -- you should demand the same.
"A few minutes up front can save a lot of trouble and a lot of headaches and heartaches afterwards," owner Kelly Cole said.
Here are some red flags: Roofers demanding money up front, unmarked work vehicles, and high pressure sales tactics.
Kathy now hopes her story prevents others from becoming victims. She's working with her mom about being so trusting.
"She still drives, she still cooks all of her own meals and I don't want to come down heavy handed but I also don't want to see her taken advantage of," Kathy stated.
Another red flag to watch out for is if the price for a roofing job is just too low. A good place to start your search for a good roofer is with the Better Business Bureau.