The state is warning residents whose homes sustained tornado or storm damage last week to be vigilant and not fall victim to scammers.
The Department of Consumer Protection is warning residents that some scammers or “storm chasers” target families after weather emergencies because they know they need repairs done quickly.
“Whenever there’s a bad storm, we always hope that everyone’s circumstances improve when the weather does, but that’s not always true,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said in a statement. “Some contractors take advantage of a situation that’s already stressful for families by offering to do home repairs at low cost, and not following through. Consumers should always do their research before deciding who should do repairs on their home. If a contractor asks you to decide immediately in order to get a cheaper price, or asks you to pay in cash – it’s most likely a scam.”
State Parks Damaged by Storms
If you need repairs done as a result of the storm, make sure to:
- Shop Around: Always get more than one price quote for work you need done.
- Ask Questions: If there’s anything you need clarified, or something in your contract that you don’t understand, always ask about it before you finalize your agreement.
- Have a Contract: Home improvement contractors are required to have a written contract with you.
- Understand Your Payments: Make sure you have a payment plan included in your contract, and never pay in full up front.
- Verify Registration: All home improvement contractors are required to be registered with DCP. You can verify their registration at www.elicense.ct.gov.
- Don’t Fall for Scams: Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give in to pressure tactics, forego a contract, pay in cash, or pay in full up front.
The DCP urges residents who think they have fallen victim to a scam to first reach out to the contractor to try and resolve the situation. If that does not work, file a complaint with DCP by emailing email@example.com with detailed information regarding the problem.