The FTC just released the following warning to property owners who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. There are already reports of scam artists who are preying on people who’s homes were damaged by this catastrophic storm. These people will claim they want to remodel your home for a great price, but what they really want is to hope you’ll give them as much up front as possible.
Here’s the FTC’s warning on home remodeling scams:
Fraudsters target disaster-affected areas, hoping to cash in on property owners’ insurance settlements and financial relief from the federal government. Home and business owners who need to hire a contractor should:
Ask for copies of the contractor’s general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
- Check the contractor’s identification and references.
- Avoid paying more than the minimum in advance.
- Deal with reputable people in your community.
- Call local law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau if you suspect a con.
You can read the entire warning that also covers Hurricane charity scams. The FTC also gives good advice on ways to protect yourself while you try to repair your home after a natural disaster.