The saying goes it only takes on bad apple to spoil the bunch and unfortunately that old adage rings true when it comes to the roofing industry. That’s what residents of Richmond, Virginia are learning about a man who has been scamming local residents for multiple years.
Authorities are now on the search for 55-year old Thomas Taylor who is accused of swindling Richmond residents out of thousands of dollars for roof repairs and other work that is entirely unnecessary. The suspect has hit multiple neighborhoods recently and left homeowners scratching their heads and trying to figure out how they can recoup their losses.
Unfortunately, this not the first time that a roofing scam and even Taylor himself has hit the same neighborhood for a quick buck. “The man comes into the neighborhood periodically and will approach a homeowner and tell them there’s a problem with the gutters or shingles. “If they’re unfamiliar with him or new to the area, often they’ll let him put a ladder to the home and climb onto the roof. He’ll often magnify the extent of the issue,” says Elizabeth Roderick. Roderick is in charge of overseeing the crime watch for Westover Hills Homeowners Association, a neighborhood that has been repeatedly preyed upon by Taylor.
Taylor will often hand over a business care to give the illusion that he is licensed and experienced though he will often make up issues with a home’s roof and gutters to make the “fix” and walk away with the homeowner’s money.
There are multiple ways that homeowners can avoid a person like Taylor’s scams or many other roof scams. Here are some quick tips on how to avoid criminals like Taylor.
- Be wary of door-knockers and roofing contractors who come to your door
- Always ask who a person works for and their credentials such as licenses, insurance information, and registrations before allowing them on your roofs
- Never pay a roofer up front, wait until a job you requested is taken care of and you are satisfied with results
By being cautious and doing extra research, you can avoid many of the scams that some Richmond residents have fallen for. When it comes to your home, it always pays to be vigilant and thorough.