Heads-up, Angelenos: Roof scams are emerging after the recent storms.
Los Angeles City attorney Mike Feuer warned residents Thursday about falling victim to roof fraud and said his office had already received complaints.
Feuer said his office had only received several complaints so far this year, but he cautions because “this is the moment we are in when we can … prevent complaints if we do our job well together.”
At a press conference at East City Hall, Feuer highlighted a recent case in which an elderly couple paid an unlicensed contractor $ 5,900 for roof repairs that made the problem worse.
Fire’s office is demanding more than $ 95,000 in reimbursement for the couple. The man was convicted of signing a contract without a license and has to do community service. He was paroled for three years.
Fire said consumers should be wary of contractors showing up at their door unsolicited, demanding a large upfront payment, or saying they will do the job without permission.
Numerous problems are associated with hiring unlicensed contractors, Feuer said, noting that they are often untied, typically not having workers’ compensation insurance, and often not trained to do the job.
Rick Lopes, director of public affairs for the California State Licensing Board, said some scammers are tracking down elderly, physically frail couples, solving a non-existent roof repair problem, and then pretending to do the job before going with it Withdraw one simple payment.
Lopes estimates there are 60,000 to 70,000 unlicensed contractors working in the state, and said his office receives about 20,000 complaints a year, but couldn’t say how many are related to roofing fraud.
After the state has been in a severe drought in recent years, the scams are changing, Lopes said. He pointed out that he and Feuer held a similar press conference about a year ago to warn of fraud related to the drought.
“The fact is, there will be people out there (who cheat) no matter what,” Lopes said.