On Your Side Alert: Viewer calls 12 to warn about roof repair scheme

On Your Side Alert: Viewer calls 12 to warn about roof repair scheme

(WWBT) - A viewer is warning others after suspicious workers show up to her home unannounced, claiming her roof needed work. She paid hundreds of dollars, but the workers didn't deliver.

The 80-year-old victim says when she was growing up, times were different and you could trust people. She was too ashamed to show her face but not too afraid to share her story, in hopes of preventing someone else from becoming a victim like she was. It started when several men showed up to her Chester home and told her they could make her roof look new. "With three men, and I was standing there by myself, the neighbors weren't around or anything. I got scared. I just said go ahead and do it," she says.

She gave them $1,100, but she discovered her roof looked even worse once they received the cash and left. Instead of looking new, the men just sprayed it with tar. "It made me sick. Literally," she says.

Tom Gallagher with the Richmond BBB says, the elderly are prime targets for the roofing schemes. His number one tip is to never open the door to strangers. "It just breaks my heart. This is one of the things that has kept me going for all these years in this career. Worse than the money it is the assault on dignity," he explains.

It may be near impossible for the victim to get her money back because she wasn't able to get any information from those would be workers. "The more information you have, the more we are able to get the word out and warn people about these. This is absolutely vicious, a vicious part of our society," Gallagher says.

The Chester resident says she is on a fixed income, and the situation was a huge financial loss. "Right here at Christmas, that is a large sum of money. Plus, the fact that I have got to repair on the roof." she says. The damage is already done, but she's hoping her costly mistake will save others from losing money.

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