As Storm Cleanup Begins, Biden Reminds Delawareans to Be Aware of Home Improvement Scams
Wilmington – Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden issued a warning to Delawareans today to remain vigilant against scams artists attempting to defraud homeowners in the aftermath of “Superstorm” Sandy. As residents assess damage to their homes and property and begin the clean up process, Biden stressed the importance of awareness in protecting against potential frauds associated with home repair services.
“Although Delaware thankfully fared much better in this storm than many of our neighbors, there are many homes and businesses up and down the state in need of repair,” said Biden.
“Sadly, there are also criminals ready to exploit this natural disaster for their own gain by defrauding those property owners. Knowing what to look out for and where to turn for help can make all the difference for consumers and their families.”
Biden offered the following guidelines to avoid home improvement scams:
- Make sure a contractor is licensed and bonded.
- Get references and follow-up on them. Ask your neighbors about a contractor’s reputation, and check them out with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org).
- Be wary of door-to-door solicitations.
- Never pay for work up front. Full payment shouldn’t be made until the job has been completed to your satisfaction.
- Always obtain a written proposal including a cost estimate; consider obtaining multiple proposals and estimates.
- Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline to report any suspected wrongdoing: 1-800-220-5424.
Biden asked anyone who suspects they have been scammed or anyone that has received a suspicious communication related to an offer of home improvement services to immediately contact the Attorney General’s toll free consumer protection hotline at 1-800-220-5424 or email the Attorney General’s consumer protection unit directly at email@example.com.
Additional state resources can be found through the Governor’s website at http://governor.delaware.gov/information/after_sandy.shtml.