This is a doorstep scam that has been happening in the Hampton area of Surrey recently, but is common in many areas.
One or more men knock at your door and say they have damaged your roof accidentally and are willing to fix it free of charge. They usually claim to have been working on next door’s roof when the accident happened.
Doesn’t sound like a scam so far, BUT they will need something that requires a deposit such as scaffolding. They had the cheek to tell one resident that he would need to pay £2,500 deposit for scaffolding for just a few hours.
Fortunately he recognised the scam, as otherwise they would have taken the money and disappeared.
They may claim the roof is damaged or the guttering is broken or in some cases they offer a free check of your roof tiles. Once on the roof they deliberately cause damage and demand an exorbitant price to fix it.
One resident says:-
This exact scam happened to me some months ago. “I am sorry, my ladder accidentally caused your roof damage. I will repair it at no cost”. It sounds like the same gang. Foolishly I allowed him to go up and he then caused damage which I had to get repaired. Yes, follow them and get vehicle number, but do not let them spot you as they then know where you live.
A local roof tiler says:-
“I was called to a job last week where two guys offered a free inspection and once on the roof removed ridge tiles and then refused to put them back unless the owner of the house paid them £350
He told them to come down and reported them to the police.
He then called me and I re-cemented the ridge tiles back and changed some broken tiles at a reduced fee as the
The various residents involved have all reported this to the Police, who already knew about the fraudsters and they have been caught.
However, there are numerous other gangs who also operate this scam.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.