WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES APRIL 19, 2018 3
Councilman and cops warn of roofi ng scams
BY RYAN KELLEY
With warmer weather fi nally
approaching, a local City
Council member and the
104th Precinct are warning residents
that it’s the season for roofi ng scams
that have reportedly aff ected Middle
Village and Maspeth for many years.
While serving as the president of the
Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA)
in previous years, Councilman Robert
Holden said he witnessed roofi ng companies
take advantage of vulnerable
citizens and charge them thousands
for work that was poorly done or not
even necessary in the fi rst place.
One of the main warning signs that a
roofer may be running a scam is doorto
door solicitation, Holden said in a
press release last week.
“They knock on the door, usually aft er a
storm or something, and tell people they
have roof damage,” Holden said. “These
scammers then propose to fi x the roof
for a fl at rate, off ering fake discounts for
those willing to pay cash up front.”
Once the scammers convince the victim
that the repairs are necessary they often
fail to do the work that was promised,
Holden said. For example, the roofers
“spray what looks like silver spray-paint
on the roof and leave after 20 minutes,”
Holden said, when they have offered to
seal the roof with aluminum asphalt.
Holden also provided invoices from
2016 from people who claim to have
been ripped off and said that victims
of the scams are charged anywhere
from $2,000 to $10,000. The invoices
are from C. Johnston Roofi ng, which
Holden accused as one of the main
When reached over the phone on
April 16, however, a spokesperson for
C. Johnston Roofi ng denied the allegations,
saying the Manhattan-based
company “doesn’t even work in that
area,” and it “doesn’t have a complaint,
and never did.”
Nevertheless, the spokesperson did
acknowledge the existence of such
scams across the city, and reports of
it harm the business.
The individuals involved in the
leaking roof scam tend to target the
elderly, according to Holden and Detective
Thomas Bell of the 104th Precinct
Community Aff airs Unit. The precinct
is taking preventative measures.
Bell said that officers from the
precinct will be in Middle Village and
Maspeth this week to alert the public
of the supposed scams, and there is a
detective running point on the majority
of the investigations into these incidents.
In 2017, reports from CBS and NBC
featured victims of supposed scams
in Maspeth and Middle Village, and
Holden was there to advocate for them
as JPCA president.
“We need to catch them in the act,”
Holden said. “But for now, the best we
can do is to make everyone aware so
they know not to pay these scammers
for faulty work.”
The press release also urges anyone
who believes they have encountered
scammers to contact James Fleming
with 104th Precinct at 718-386-2591.
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