COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - When the storms hit, the roof scammers come out to play.
America's Choice Roofing's Executive Director Hannah Spivey said every time a storm blows through, they see multiple fraudulent companies scamming residents.
"So many people in our community get taken advantage of by people coming from out of the area," said Spivey. "People even come in from out of the state."
Spivey said if a company is asking for money upfront, it's probably a scam.
"People take money upfront, and you never see them again," said Spivey. "Unfortunately, you can't get that money back once it's already been done."
Spivey said at her roofing company, they do the work first and then accept the payment.
College Station resident Beth Dowlearn woke up to a mess Saturday morning.
"We were surprised in the morning," said Dowlearn. "Our tree broke in the backyard, and our whole fence broke down. I would think about 70% of the fences in the neighborhood came down, and we had some roof damage."
Dowlearn got what you should expect from your roofer.
"He came very soon when we called him," Dowlearn said. "He did the work before we gave him the down payment."
Spivey said residents just like Dowlearn will be taken advantage of in the coming weeks, but there a few ways to know if a roofing company is trustworthy.
"Making sure they have a physical address, and even more so, going to that physical address and making sure people are there," Spivey said.
Some scammers go as far as getting a local P.O. Box and phone number, so Spivey said you should make some calls.
"Call the city," Spivey said, "and see if the company has pulled permits in the past."
Spivey also suggests you ask for references and make sure they're insured.
"It's very important when you're dealing with the roof over your head," Spivey said.
Another way to ensure a company is legitimate is by doing your research. If a company doesn't have reviews online, you might want to second guess who you're paying.