A Conway County homeowner says that's exactly what happened to him when he lost thousands to a roofing company.
More than 100 other Arkansans have had the very same problem.
"I'm a retired first sergeant and I was always telling my people to watch out for people trying to beat them out of their money," says Melvin Vick, who after 23 years in the military never thought he'd get taken for his hard-earned cash.
"I was bent out of shape to be honest with you," he says. "I could use other words but I won't, but I was saying, 'man how could I have been had like this?'"
Vick says he needed his roof fixed after the Vilonia storm last year, so when someone from American Shingle and Siding in Little Rock pulled up to his home he thought, "This is too easy."
"He asked me if I had insurance, I said 'yes,'" Vick recalls.
An adjuster came out and gave an estimate of about $6,000 to fix the roof.
"In the meantime, American Shingle told me, 'When you get the check give us a call and we'll pick it up," Vick says.
That's about all Vick says the company did.
"They gave me a date that they were going to repair my roof and they say watch out for a dumpster," he says.
Vick kept looking for months and no one from American Shingle ever showed up to repair his roof.
"One day I called and the call went from Little Rock office to Florida, I say 'I must have the wrong number here,' you know?," Vick says.
The next call went to an office in Atlanta.
"I said, 'Look, just send me my money," he says.
By then it was too late. The Arkansas Attorney General had already found out American Shingle and Siding was duping homeowners out of their money.
"The Attorney General says, 'Guess what, these guys are out of business, they are gone,'" says Vick.
"We have been helping a lot of people that were victims of American Shingle, Conway Roofing and a couple of other companies that actually came into Arkansas during the hail storm and took advantage of a lot of people," says Debbie Goodwin with Arkansas Roofing Kompany.
Goodwin says it's important for homeowners to check out the roofing company before hiring their services.
"Contact the BBB, one of the big things we found is do they have a physical address," she says.
Both American Shingle and Siding and Conway Roofing were ordered by a Pulaski County judge to stop operating their business and pay civil penalties and restitution.
According to the Attorney General's office, American Shingle is now bankrupt.
The owner of Conway Roofing was convicted on criminal charges in Faulkner County.