ASPEN - Fifteen and counting. That's the number of roof-scam victims a local businessman has helped by providing their homes with shelter.
Jeff Posey, who is in the process of moving to Aspen from Basalt, is the founder of Skyline Roofing USA. Working in the business, he has seen his industry's reputation stained by roofing scams. He got a taste of it firsthand in the aftermath of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the Gulf Coast region. There, he saw how common roofing scams are.
And in Denver, Posey also noticed that there were a number of victims of roof scams, in which contractors take a payment for services and products that they don't deliver.
"In Denver, where storms are really prevalent, there are a lot of scams with roofers," Posey said.
The experience spurred Posey to start the nonprofit RoofScamHelp.com in 2011.
RoofScamHelp.com recently installed a new roof for a Longmont couple that was fleeced out of nearly $6,000 because of a roof scam. The couple, Tom and Becky Carnagie, gave the money to a roofing company that never delivered or installed the product. That was in 2009.
"Nobody was taking action," Posey said, noting that the couple filed a complaint with the state Attorney General's Office, but the roofing company went bankrupt, so there was no money to recoup.
Because RoofScamHelp.com's contribution to the Carnagie couple was a charitable action, the city of Longmont charged a $25 fee for a building permit, as opposed to the normal $250, Posey said.
His company, Skyline Roofing USA, donated the labor. An Asian manufacturer provided the shingles. And Waste Management provided the dump bins.
RoofScamHelp.com seeks roofers with good reputations to help achieve the cause of aiding scam victims. Roofers who align themselves with RoofScamHelp.com can use the website logo on their companies' material. And if the roofers fail to deliver their products, RoofScamHelp.com backs the contracts.
Posey's site also seeks stories from victims of roof scams. Posey then reviews the stories to see if they qualify for help.
The goal of RoofScamHelp.com, Posey said, is to help clean up an industry whose reputation is sullied by untrustworthy contractors.
"I want to see the roofing industry disappear off the top-10 list of biggest industry scams, and RoofScamHelp.com is the first step towards doing so," he said at the time of RoofScamHelp.com's launch.