Beware of Home Improvement Scams by “Storm Chasers”

May 22, 2018

Friends,

As we continue cleaning up from the recent storm, I want to warn you about con artists that may try to take advantage of your situation. The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) says that scammers known as “storm chasers” target families after weather emergencies because they know repairs need to be done quickly.

To avoid falling victim to an unscrupulous contractor, DCP recommends the following:

  • Shop Around: Always get more than one price quote.
  • Ask Questions: If there’s anything you need clarified, or you don’t understand something in the contract, always ask BEFORE you finalize your agreement.
  • Have a Contract: Home improvement contractors MUST have a written contract with you.
  • Understand Your Payments: Make sure your contract includes a payment plan and NEVER pay in full up front.
  • Verify Registration: All home improvement contractors MUST be registered with DCP. Verify a contractor’s registration at www.elicense.ct.gov.
  • Don’t Fall for Scams: 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.

The DCP urges residents who think they have fallen victim to a scam to first reach out to the contractor to try and resolve the situation.

If that does not work, file a complaint with DCP by emailing dcp.complaints@ct.gov with detailed information regarding the problem.

You can find more information on the DCP website here: http://www.portal.ct.gov/DCP/Trade-Practices-Division/Home-Improvement-for-Consumers