April 17, 2008
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Jay Nixon reminds consumers to watch out for scams as home repair season approaches. Nixon's office already has nearly 400 complaints in 2008 related to home construction and remodeling, and he says consumers will likely file hundreds more during spring and summer. Many of those complaints will be against fraudulent contractors who collect money for repairs, then do little or no work.
"The crooks are as reliable as the leaves on the trees this time of year," Nixon said. Consumers need to work with companies they trust and watch for door to door salesmen, free home inspections, driveway scams and other tricks that aim to rip them off."
The Attorney General says consumers, especially in southern
Missouri, may have more repairs than usual because of the flood damage
still being assessed.
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 1,600 consumer complaints on home repair and remodeling in 2007, making it the fourth-highest category of complaints. Consumers can file a complaint online with the Attorney General's Office by visiting ago.mo.gov or by calling 1-800-392-8222.