Springtime weather may be beautiful, but the severe storms we see during this time of year also means door-to-door scam artists are out and about, most acting like contractors.
About 8,000 complaints are reported each year to the Better Business Bureau about the roofing industry alone. It’s the number one scam during the spring. Lots of scam artists pose as roofing contractors, knocking on your door, promising to fix the damage from the last storm for a cheap price.
Some legitimate contractors also go door-to-door, but how can you tell if someone’s lying?
Mechele Mills with the Better Business Bureau of Tyler said, “If they have an unmarked vehicle, that’s something to be watchful for. Also, if it’s really hard to identify what company they’re with.”
Mills said that another red flag is if the person at your door doesn’t have a business card, or won’t give you contact information.
“You also want to check out their reputation, check out their track record,” Mills suggested.
Pay attention to how they’re asking you to pay for the service. “If they ask for money up front, if they ask for cash, be cautious with that.”
Lots of times, these scammers will take your money, and won’t come back.
Mills said, “The safest way to pay is to use a credit card, because you’ll have 60 days to dispute that transaction.”
The most important thing is your safety. If someone knocks on your door, you don’t have to answer it.
The City of Tyler has an ordinance in place saying that solicitors cannot come to your door before 10:00 a.m. or after dark. They also can’t come to your door at all if you have a no soliciting sign — something to keep in mind if you want to avoid these scammers altogether.
The BBB also says to look out for door-to-door scam artists posing as other types of contractors, like asphalt workers.
For more scam information, or to check out a specific business, head to the BBB of Tyler’s website.
A version of this article originally appeared on KYTX’s website.