News Releases

June 07, 2011

Avoid Fraud When Recovering From Flood

Many Vermonters continue to or are beginning to rebuild and recover from floods. As that work continues, Vermont Emergency Management wants to remind residents to be on the lookout for dishonest contractors looking to cash-in on the disaster.

Although there have been NO reports of it happening in this disaster, fraudulent contractors sometimes go door-to-door after catastrophic events to find victims who are in need of assistance.

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) urges consumers to fully checkout contractors before agreeing to any work. Information and important questions to ask are available on the CAP website under: Home Improvement FAQs.

Watch out for the following warning signs of lees than reputable contractors:

•Solicit door-to-door and are not local to the area.

•Inform you that they were passing by and noticed a problem with your home.

•Offer you discounts for finding other customers or promise that the job will be a "demonstration."

•Just happen to have materials left over from a previous job and can give you a really good price.

•Only accept cash payments.

•Pressure you to make a decision on the spot.

•Ask you to pay for the entire job or a substantial portion of the job up front.

•Suggest that you borrow money from a lender the contractor knows.

If you have a question about a contractor or suspect fraud, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program office at (800) 649-2424 or (802) 656-3183.

Vermont’s home improvement fraud registry lists all contractors convicted of criminal home improvement fraud at: Home Improvement Fraud Registry.

Vermont Attorney General web site: www.atg.state.vt.us

Source: Vermont Emergency Management
Last Updated at: June 07, 2011 16:21:37