Okla. AG Warns of Home Repair Fraud in Aftermath of Storms

August 23, 2007

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson issued a warning to consumers of the potential for home repair scams following the state’s recent severe weather.

“The wind and rain carried with them enormous damage,” Edmondson said. “These storms can also carry with them the potential for home repair fraud.”

The attorney general warns Oklahomans to be alert for several clues that might indicate a less than reputable repairman. He says to be wary of anyone who solicits door-to-door, offers discounts for finding other customers or “just happens to have” materials left over from a previous job. Also, be suspicious of a repairman who accepts only cash payments, pressures you for an immediate decision or asks you to pay for the entire job up-front.

Edmondson provided the following tips:

–Ask people you trust for referrals.
–Whenever possible, deal with local firms with roots in the community.
–Check out the repairman with the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit and the Better Business Bureau.
–Ask for customer references.
–Get written estimates from several firms.
–Don’t do business without a written contract.
–Get all guarantees, warranties and promises in writing.
–Agree on start and completion dates and have them written into the contract.

“For most Oklahomans, their home is their greatest investment,” Edmondson said. “The financial and emotional strain of losing a home is bad enough; don’t compound the damage by falling victim to a scam.”

Edmondson’s Consumer Protection Unit investigates and prosecutes consumer fraud. To report suspected fraud, call the CPU at (405) 521-2029.

Source: Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office

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