If It Sounds Too Good to Be True ... Beware Contractor Scams After the Storm - NBC4 Washington

Susan Hogan and the Consumer Watch team covering your consumer concerns

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True ... Beware Contractor Scams After the Storm

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Consumer reporter Susan Hogan warns about contractor scams involving home repairs following the mammoth storm. (Published Monday, Jan. 25, 2016)

    They're called storm chasers for a reason: Scammers who go door to door offering to repair storm-related damage to your home.

    Before you hire a contractor, be aware of these 4 Things to Know:

    1) Beware door-to-door contractors.

    If someone shows up to your house offering you a deal on the spot, beware. And beware those who demand you pay up front in cash to get a deal.

    If the contractor is legit, that so-called deal today will still be a deal tomorrow.

    2) Hire only a licensed contractor in your state.

    Some states offer protections to homeowners who get scammed by contractors. Here's where to check if a contractor is licensed in your state:

    Virginia

    Maryland

    D.C.

    3) Get everything in writing.

    That Including a start and end date of the work. And while you are doing the paperwork, ask for a copy of the contractor's certificate of insurance. Call that insurance company to make sure the contractor is covered.

    If a worker doesn't have insurance and they fall on your property, you may be responsible for medical costs.

    4) Don't pay all at once.

    Remember this suggested payment schedule: one-third up front, one-third half way through the job and one-third once all of the work is complete.