Home improvements and repairs are some of the most unpleasant and expensive responsibilities of home ownership. However, a reputable contractor can improve your experience. Unfortunately, scam artists target the elderly and people who receive insurance proceeds after a disaster. Older people are more likely to have money saved and have home equity, which makes them attractive targets. Learn to recognize a home improvement scam before it's too late. The most important thing is to follow every step on this fact sheet.
To reduce your risk of falling for a home improvement scam:
Look at contractors’ recent work on other homes to see their style.
If you know or suspect a home improvement scam, try to resolve the issue with the contractor. The contractor may be open to negotiation, especially if they believe you will take legal action. You should follow up all conversations with written letters sent with return receipts as proof the letter was received. If you and the contractor are unable to reach an understanding, it is acceptable for another reputable contractor to complete or repair the poorly done work and then seek damages against the con artist for the out-of-pocket costs spent to fix the problems.
Take Necessary Action
Consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Arkansas Attorney General. Seek the help of a private attorney or assistance from the Legal Services office in your area. If you are over the age of sixty, contact the your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). For more information or for printed materials, Eldercare Locator has excellent resources available at www.eldercare.gov and can be reached at (800) 677-1116.