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Panel warns homeowners of roofing scammer in Reno

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Updated: 10/10/2012 4:15 pm
RENO – The Nevada State Contractors Board is issuing a consumer alert to all residents in Reno and the surrounding areas of a male suspect who is scamming homeowners into paying for unnecessary roofing and vent pipe repairs.
Senior Awareness Programs: Homeowners and seniors interested in learning more about these scams are encouraged to attend one of NSCB’s Senior Awareness Programs. These events provide information on scams targeting seniors, information about warning signs, and what resources are available if you’ve been victimized. Below are the dates and times of upcoming programs. Homeowners can contact Jennifer Turner at 702-486-1139 for additional information.

Oct. 25: Las Vegas, Doolittle Senior Center – 10 a.m.

Oct. 29: Boulder City Senior Center – 10:30 a.m.

Oct. 30: Las Vegas – Lieburn Senior Center – 1 p.m.

The suspect goes by the name James Gregg and has been reported as a white male in his 30s, approximately 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, and curly brown hair with a mustache. The suspect was seen driving a newer white van with no company signage/logo and a ladder on the side. Reports have also indicated Gregg may be traveling with a woman.

Details received by NSCB indicate Gregg may be targeting seniors who are out in their yard while he drives through the neighborhood. Gregg approaches the victims, claims to notice that certain roofing repairs are needed, performs substandard work on the home upon the homeowner’s consent, and receives payment before leaving the property. Gregg is reported to have scammed homeowners multiple times, returning to “check on the work” and then convincing the homeowner additional repairs are needed.

“Scams like this are real and can quickly affect many residents within a neighborhood if the warning signs are not noticed early on,” stated NSCB Executive Officer Margi Grein. “We want to ensure homeowners know what red flags to look for and encourage them to contact the Board immediately if suspicious contracting activity is taking place.”

Red flag warnings of unscrupulous contractors include:

• Unable to provide a business card/contact information/contractor’s license number
• Contractor has “extra” materials from a previous job
• Contractor solicits work because they noticed issues with your home
• Contractor asks to perform a free inspection, followed by a laundry list of repairs that need to be made
• Contractor does not want to put the agreement in writing
• Contractor demands cash payment

Scams such as this have been frequently used by “travelers,” or individuals who move rapidly throughout the states, soliciting to perform work for homeowners, receiving payment prior to the work being performed, and then leaving town before doing so. They often target elderly victims and are known to perform door-to-door solicitations.

Homeowners should report all suspicious activity or unlicensed contracting activity to NSCB’s Unlicensed Contractor Hotline: (702) 486-1160 or (775) 850-7838.

-- From news release
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