Following the historic floods of the past few weeks, there is a lot of work to be done as Arkansans return home, but scam artists may be posing as contractors to steal quick cash from victims, according to a news release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
“Unscrupulous contractors may try to take advantage of hard-working Arkansans, especially during or after a disaster when people may seem vulnerable and in need,” Rutledge said. “Arkansans facing home repairs should research contractors and do their homework before making a payment and scheduling work to be done.”
Rutledge issued the following tips for flood victims who are ready to begin repairs to their property:
• Beware of door-to-door solicitors selling home-repair work. To find someone reputable, ask friends or family who have recently used a home-repair contractor or professional.
• Avoid any home-repair solicitor who asks for an upfront payment or who will not provide you with a detailed written contract with name and address of the contractor as well as the grade, quality, name brand and quantity of any materials to be used.
• Get at least three written estimates. A reputable contractor or professional will never try to pressure potential customers.
• Check with the Attorney General’s Office, the Better Business Bureau or the Arkansas Contractors’ Licensing Board to find out if the company has a complaint history.
• Never make the final payment until you have had an opportunity to inspect and approve the work.
• Remember that all contracts resulting from a home-solicitation sale generally must include a buyer’s right to cancel within three (3) business days after the contract is signed.
• Make sure all warranties and guarantees are in writing.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program, and provides answers to specific questions regarding that program at FloodSmart.gov/faqs.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.