DCP encourages consumers to beware of scammers
The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is encouraging consumers to be on the lookout for scams as they prepare to make repairs to their homes after storms. Some scammers or “storm chasers” prey on families after weather emergencies because they know they need repairs done quickly. Our message to consumers: know the signs of a scam, and don’t fall for them.
“Whenever there’s a bad storm, we always hope that everyone’s circumstances improve when the weather does, but that’s not always true,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “Some contractors take advantage of a situation that’s already stressful for families by offering to do home repairs at low cost, and not following through. Consumers should always do their research before deciding who should do repairs on their home. If a contractor asks you to decide immediately in order to get a cheaper price, or asks you to pay in cash – it’s most likely a scam.”
If you need repairs done as a result of the storm, make sure to:
- Shop around: Always get more than one price quote for work you need done.
- Ask Questions: If there’s anything you need clarified, or something in your contract that you don’t understand, always ask about it before you finalize your agreement.
- Have a Contract: Home improvement contractors are required to have a written contract with you.
- Understand your Payments: Make sure you have a payment plan included in your contract, and never pay in full up front.
- Verify Registration: All home improvement contractors are required to be registered with DCP. You can verify their registration at www.elicense.ct.gov.
Don’t Fall for Scams: Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give in to pressure tactics, forego a contract, pay in cash, or pay in full up front.
Consumers who feel they’ve fallen victim to a scam should first reach out to their contractor to try and resolve the situation.
If their efforts to resolve their issue don’t work, consumers should file a complaint with DCP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with detailed information regarding their problem.