Attorney General Todd Rokita warns Hoosiers to avoid scams this winter. This is a time to celebrate the holidays and be with family, but it’s also a time for scammers to find new victims, especially when dealing with winter weather.
“Scammers don’t hibernate in the winter, and they’re counting on, you to be the target of a winter weather scam,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Hoosiers can protect themselves by asking the right questions and doing their research before hiring anyone.”
Unlicensed contractors and scammers don’t just call you anymore, they email, or knock on your door. Don’t fall for their promises to inspect your furnace, repair your leaky roof, or offer to remove snow and ice. Sometimes they don’t deliver — and they just take your money and run without doing some or all the work.
To prepare for winter weather emergencies while avoiding scams, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General and the Indiana Builders Association offer the following tips to avoid falling victim to a home repair scam:
- Ask your family, friends, and co-workers for contractors they have used who have done good work.
- Before signing a contract or making a payment, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and the Better Business Bureau for complaint information on contractors you are considering.
- Get multiple bids from local contractors in writing.
- Avoid contractors who spontaneously show up at your door offering a “bargain” price for painting, driveway sealing, roof repairs, etc.
- Never pay for the entire or a large part of the project before the work begins.
- Don’t make the final payment to the contractor until you know all suppliers of materials and all subcontractors have been paid.
- Get a contract — never rely on verbal or handshake deals. Make sure all promises are in writing and that you understand what you’re signing.
- Search online for the company’s name with words like “scam” or “complaint.”
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, file a complaint at www.indianaconsumer.com with Attorney General Rokita’s office.