Attorney General Warns Consumers to Beware of
Home Repair Scams
BALTIMORE, MD (June 7, 2007) – Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler says
it’s that time of year again when many consumers consider home improvement
projects–and when scam artists may make the rounds. Springtime often brings
out roving con artists who knock on people’s doors and offer to do work
such as roofing, gutter cleaning, driveway paving or tree pruning. They sometimes
appear in the aftermath of hailstorms or tornados, offering to repair storm damage.
Some warning signs of a scam include:
offer of a reduced price because they’ve “just
done a job nearby and have materials left over;”
offer of a “special” percentage off the repair
without being clear about what the bottom-line price will be;
street address or telephone number, just a post office box
or an answering
refusal to give a written estimate or contract.
Attorney General Gansler offered these tips for consumers who
need work done on their homes:
- Get recommendations
for contractors from satisfied friends and neighbors.
- Ask to
see a contractor’s Maryland Home Improvement Commission
license, and get the license number and expiration date. Contractors
must display their home improvement license number on all
of their home improvement contracts,
trucks and advertisements.
- Go to the Home Improvement
Web site (www.dllr.state.md.us/pq) to verify a contractor’s
license. Call the Commission (410-230-6309) to ask about complaints
a company. If a contractor you hire fails
to do the job, or does it poorly, you may be able to recover your
losses through the Home Improvement Commission’s Guaranty Fund
if your contractor is licensed.
- Call the Consumer
Protection Division (410-528-8662) to ask about any
complaints filed against the company.
- Get references and
check them to see if the work was done properly, on schedule,
the contract price.
- Get estimates from
at least two or three companies, especially for expensive
For more information
on home repair scams, go to www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/127.pdf.
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