AP Photo / LM Otero
Attorneys affected by tornadoes in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas and violent storms should be wary of fraud by contractors, Attorney General Ken Paxton warned.
As people rebuild their homes and infrastructure, there may be ample opportunities for cheats to do promising tasks and fail to complete them to feed on the victims of the storm.
According to the AG office, customers should be careful about contractors requesting door-to-door services, especially contractors who are under pressure to enter into a contract on site or who are not from their area. Residents must record the salesperson's license plate to get additional information to report in case of fraud.
Paxton said in a statement: “People affected by this terrible storm are encouraged to spend more time evaluating and hiring reputable contractors to avoid losing their reputation.
How to avoid contractor fraud:
- Consider paying with credit card, not prepay cash for repair.
- Contact your insurance coordinator to accurately estimate repair costs before hiring a contractor.
- Do not sign the check to the contractor at the insurance company.
- Hire only a licensed or bonded contractor.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if your business is trustworthy.
- Ask for recommendations from people you trust.
- Get two or more quotes for repairs.
- Get the warranty terms in writing and keep a copy of all documents.
Consumers who believe they have been scammed or witnessed a scam can report it to the Legal Department at (800) 621-0508. Consumers can report fraud online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/file-a-consumer-complaint.