April 23, 2007
Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon says his office already has hundreds of complaints this year about home repair contractors, and he says that number will just keep growing. As spring and summer arrive and more Missourians have work done on their homes, Nixon is urging consumers to watch out for tell-tale signs of fraud.
“Along with warm weather, flowers, grass and trees coming back, an unfortunate spring tradition is the home repair con artist,” Nixon said. “Every year we see criminals going door to door and using other tricks to rip off Missouri consumers.”
The Attorney General says consumers this year may have more repairs than usual because of leftover damage from summer, fall and winter storms during the past year.
Nixon says consumers should be suspicious of workers who:
When selecting a home-repair company, Nixon offers consumers these tips:
Some contractors may not offer a contract, preferring instead to operate on a handshake agreement. In these cases, consumers can draft their own contract using a worksheet available from the Consumer Corner section of the Attorney General's Web site.
Nixon's office took more than 1,300 consumer complaints on home repair and remodeling in 2006, making it the sixth-highest category of complaints. Consumers can report fraud by filing a complaint online with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division by visiting ago.mo.gov or by calling 1-800-392-8222.