Watch out for home repair scammers

Roseville, Calif.- Be wary of individuals offering repairs when it comes to home repairs after a storm or natural disaster. Whether they knock on your door or contact you through other means, these individuals often exaggerate or falsify damage during initial inspections.

To protect yourself and your wallet, keep an eye out for the following signs:

  1. Aggressive contact: Storm chasers may approach you directly, urging immediate commitment to their services.
  2. Overstated damage claims: During free inspections, they may inflate the severity of damage to pressure you into hiring them.
  3. Limited-time deals: Be cautious if they offer time-sensitive discounts, as this tactic can create urgency.
  4. Unusually low pricing: If their rates seem significantly lower than industry standards, proceed cautiously.
  5. Upfront payment requests: Scammers often ask for payment before starting work, sometimes offering incentives for cash payments. Pay no more than 10% of the total contract price or $1,000 payment, whichever is less. (It’s the law.) Avoid paying in cash.
  6. Insurance deductible offers: Avoid any scheme that promises to cover your insurance deductible-it could be insurance fraud.

While most of us aren’t industry experts, asking questions can help:

  • Qualifications and certifications: Request proof of qualifications, insurance, and relevant certifications. Check a contractor’s license to ensure it is current and in good standing at the Contractors State License Board.
  • Material sources: Inquire about the manufacturing companies they work with and where they source materials.
  • Experience: Ask about their years in the business and whether they’ve handled projects similar to yours.
  • Warranty and follow-up: Find out if they offer a warranty and whether they’ll address any issues after completion.
  • Customer reviews: Request references and search the contractor’s name online for additional reviews.
    If you suspect you’ve fallen victim to a scam, take action:
  • File a complaint with the California State Licensing Board via their website: www.cslb.ca.gov.
  • Explore resources from the National Association of Home Builders: www.nahb.org
  • Contact the Roseville Police Department (916-774-5000 option 1) if you encounter unregistered solicitors operating in your neighborhood.

Stay vigilant and protect yourself from storm-chasing fraudsters!

Additional ways scammers will try to get your money

  • Solicit at your door or randomly call you offering to fix a problem you didn’t know you had.
  • Advertise that they can fix roof leaks, install windows, or furnish your roof with solar panels for a low priceโ€ฆbut you must act now.
  • Pressure you to make a quick decision or offer to provide financing.
  • Demand all or a large down payment and then never complete the work.
  • Do sloppy work or make the situation worse – then stop responding to you or disappear.
  • Say they have material left over from a previous job that they will sell you cheaply, if you commit today.
    Steps you can take to protect yourself and your home:
  • Ask solicitors, vendors, or contractors for references, and license and insurance information.
  • Try to get written estimates from three different companies/contractors – this helps to make sure the pricing offered is within a standard range.
  • Take time to make an educated decision.
  • Do not pay by cash, direct wire transfer, or load funds onto gift cards.
  • If hired, try to make sure the contract clearly states the services being provided, the materials to be used, and estimated time of completion

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