Scammers Target Non-Native English Speakers
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Officials with the Home Loan Insurance Department said they received an increased amount of calls from people who may have been scammed by a group claiming to be local roofers.
"We took a series of three phone calls in a 24 hour period that were pertaining to a specific group of people," said Carma Brown, the manager of the Personal Insurance Department.
All three customers said that someone claiming to be a roofer came to their door saying that the roof needed to be replaced and that they would gladly process the insurance claim on behalf of the homeowner.
"They asked for a lot of information that you should not. This is not normal; this would be out of the norm for any insurance claim what so ever," said Brown.
That information included their policy number and social security number.
"I find that very disturbing," said Renee Gideon, the owner of American Roof Company.
Gideon and her husband have been in the roofing business in Grand Junction for the last 23 years and have heard of scams like these.
"The only information you really should ever disclose to your roofing contractor is your name, the property address and possibly the lender," said Gideon.
"You would not give a policy number, you would not give your social security number and you would not provide them with a copy of your policy," said Brown.
Brown said she's concerned that these scammers are targeting a specific demographic.
"All three customers that we got calls on in regards to this roofing company asking for way too much information, are all people who English would be their second language," said Gideon.
Brown said it's very uncommon for a contractor to file a claim on behalf of the homeowner and even if they worked directly with your insurance company, the details needed would be limited.
"If a contractor, a legitimate contractor were going to deal directly with your insurance company, the only information they'd be privy to would be your name, the claim number and the date of the loss. You would never ever reveal any personal information what so every," said Gideon.
Gideon also said it is very rare for a legitimate roofing company to solicit their business by going door to door or even over the phone.