"We're Just Doing a Job Up The Street"-Common Scam?

This has happened twice this year-a guy rings the bell and says" We are finishing a roof on a house up the street-we’d like to do your roof".
Is this a common scam? I would never hire anybody to work on my house off the street-you need to get three quotes, be sure the contractors are insured, licensed, etc.
What usually happens to people who fall for this scam? Are they usually ripped off?

It’d be a really stupid scam since the quickest retort would be “Great, what house is it that you just did so I can check out your work?”

I’m sure part of their job is to keep new business coming in and that would be an obvious way to do it.

More commonly it’s “We just did a job a few blocks over and have half a truck load of material…”

If you tried to be clever and drive three blocks over, they’d just leave in your absence. Yes, it’s a common scam and one I’m ashamed to admit I once fell for in a more naive youth. It was for some blacktop work and they essentially just sprayed some black oil substance over the driveway which made it look rather nice for about 24 hours before it dried up. Oh well, it was long enough ago that now I can look at it as a couple hundred lost and a lesson learned.

Usually a scam, but sometimes it’s just guys looking for work. It’s pretty easy to tell. Often the ‘leftover material’ thing is legitimate in the sense that they have some material. But it may not really be their’s to sell. And they’re often just trying to get a foot in the door to get more money out of you. These guys come by my place often, but they’ve never even offered me anything that was a good enough deal to bother checking on the legitimacy of it.

Do you live in a hurricane/tornado zone? If so (and even if you don’t), you should read Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen. All your questions will be answered there, I promise! :wink:

This is a classic Irish Traveller scam. The term “Irish Traveller” can be considered derogatory, but I don’t know of another term to use to describe this particular group of scammers. Here is an article that details a number of specific scams and their consequences.

This might be a scam occasionally, but I have been solicited by roofers, tree surgeons, gutter cleaners, etc who legitimately did just finish work for one of my neighbors.

Occasionally? This is a common enough scam that I would never hire anyone who came to my door soliciting work with this story.

Scumbag Gypsies works for most of us over here.

To each their own… I “fell for” this several years ago with a landscaper. I’ve since hired him about six more times and so have many of my neighbors. He does great work, and it is fun watching his business evolve from a couple of guys with a truck and trailer to a company with multiple trucks, crews in uniforms, and a successful business. Plus, he gives me a great deal since I was one of his first customers.

Maybe not everyone is a scam artist.

It can also be a way of seeing if anyone is home, making the house more ripe for “profit”.

There’s a difference between someone just going door to door to drum up business, and the specific “We’ve got some material left over from a job, so we can offer you a GREAT DEAL to redo your roof/driveway RIGHT NOW, if you pay in CASH ONLY” that scammers use. Those are the signs to watch out for.

I prefer the usage of knacker to describe them.

I get this at the office sometimes, when people trying to sell artwork “left over” from a sale to another office knock on the door.

Do you obviously need a new roof? If so, he’s probably just trying to drum up some work while he’s in the neighborhood. If not, he might be up to something, but I can’t imagine what he’d gain other than finding out if you’re home.

Around here there are asphalt driveway scammers who like to pretend they’ve got half a truckload of asphalt after some job and will give us a good deal on an asphalt driveway. We tell them we heard the door-to-door meat salesman was looking to put in an asphalt drive and send them on their way.

People, please! All these terms are offensive and racist!
Fucking dirty pikers!

This is just the age-old scam of extorting money out of the mark in exchange for goods or services. Oldest one in the book! I too have been victimized for years by one of these door-to-door scam artists, taking dozens of dollars from me to cut grass that just keeps growing back!

For people unsure what they’d be trying to do, it almost always is a scam in which they do some sort of home maintenance, general contracting or repair work in which they give you a decentish discount over a legitimate contractor in exchange for doing “fake work.” Basically work that under light scrutiny looks legitimate but ends up not being legitimate at all.

Fake roofing work, fake paving work, and fake fertilizer / gardening work is the most common. It’s easier done than you might imagine. A homeowner who isn’t savvy can easily be talked into paying for roofing work that they don’t even need, and the scam artist will often do a paltry amount replacing a few shingles to look legitimate, but leaving 95% of the work undone. Instead of proper paving they might just lay down a thin black substance as mentioned upthread that makes it look like they just paved your driveway. They’ll sprinkle random dust around and say it is expensive fertilizer.

It’s the door-to-door brain surgeons offering 20-per-cent off and who claim they have leftover, still sterilized drill bits who grind my gears.

Remember what the con men say:

That means an honest man will recognize something too good to be true, but a dishonest one will think he’s the one who’s actually taking advantage of someone. Doesn’t cover all bases though.

Remember what TriPolar says: