Roofer warns against 'Good Samaritan' scammers

a roofer working

Darren Gallagher has been a roofer since 1987 - Credit: Darren Gallagher

A roofer has warned people against the ‘Good Samaritans’ conning people out of hundreds of pounds.

Darren Gallagher, from Sutton Bridge, has just finished putting lead on someone’s roof after what appeared to be a helpful offer from a business, turned out to be a con.

He has seen a rise in scams in the Walpoles and West Lynn.

The most recent fix was after somebody appeared to have the lead fixed on their chimney. Instead, they just painted it with silver paint which he said that "if you stand at a distance it looks like new lead is there."

Silver paint around a chimney

Darren Gallagher found the chimney had just been painted silver, rather than the lead being replaced. - Credit: Darren Gallagher

“The common theme is they are working on a nearby roof and say they saw an issue with theirs and do they want to price it for them,” he said.

“Roofs are right for the con man, people are not going to have a look up the ladder themselves and they trust the person acting like the Good Samaritans who said they can fix their roof before it gets worse.”

The 51-year-old has been repairing roofs since 1987 and is the owner of Gallagher Roofing.

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They are also paying astronomical fees, as he said the customer paid £750 for the botched work. His company charged the customer £334 for the correct repair.

A chimney correctly covered in lead

Darren Gallagher and his team replaced the paint with lead. - Credit: Darren Gallagher

He also warned that the issues have been on the rise as a result of the pandemic, with people having the money to get jobs done.

“We are seeing a lot more repair jobs. People have been saving their money and they aren’t just doing the necessary job they are enhancing the property,” he said.

“People have managed to save money and they are there to be robbed by the con man.”

Mr Gallagher took to Facebook to warn local communities about the scam.

a roof chimney correctly protected

Darren Gallagher and his team replaced the paint with lead. - Credit: Darren Gallagher

He said there was a number of things people can do to protect themselves from becoming a victim.

“Ask another roofer to come and confirm the issue, and find an independent roofer, don't take one person’s word for it,” he said.

“If you are elderly have a member of your family with you.

“Find genuine referrals where people can go and have a look, don't trust an online review. If the person has done a good job, they have nothing to hide.”