Phony roofers preying upon Weber residents
Wednesday , July 30, 2014 - 9:24 PM
OGDEN — Police arrested one suspect Wednesday and were on the lookout for another in a roofing scam that has burned several Weber County residents.
The Weber County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of fraud committed by individuals who offer to do reroofing work for low prices, said Sgt. Lane Findlay.
Alma Delia Contreras and Samuel Sivirian are suspected of running the illegitimate roofing business. It is not confirmed if Sivirian is the man’s true identity.
Contreras was apprehended Wednesday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said.
In the scam, the suspect gives out a business card titled Samuel’s Roofing; however, there is no record of Sivirian being a licensed and registered contractor.
Sivirian was reported to have gone door to door offering low bids on roofing work and asking for the money up-front to cover the cost of materials.
In most cases, Sivirian wouldn’t even show up to do the work. In other instances, Sivirian would arrive with a crew of men but ask for more money to pay them.
After starting the work, the crew would leave as soon as the customer stopped paying Sivirian, leaving the roof torn up and unfinished.
Over the past three months, deputies received five reports of the fraudsters working in West Haven, Ogden, South Ogden and Roy.
In one case, Sivirian persuaded a resident to pay him an estimate of $2,000.
Contreras is suspected of posing as Sivirian’s wife and answering calls from their clients.
Sivirian was seen driving in a white GMC Yukon and a blue-and-silver Chevy pickup. Both vehicles are registered to Contreras, which is how police identified her.
Sivirian was seen working with a crew of men, but no other information is available on them or how involved they are in the scam.
Officials remind the public to be wary of these types of scams, which are not uncommon. Individuals claiming to be able to do construction or renovation work for a fraction of the typical cost should be cautiously dealt with, especially if they ask for payment before the job is complete.
Even if they follow through with the job, the work is usually shoddy and uses cheap materials. A legitimate contractor should also be able to provide documentation such as a contractor’s license.
The sheriff’s office advises: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
Residents with information about the suspects are encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at 801-629-8221.
Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.