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Home Improvement Scams and Tips to Avoid Them

Home Improvement Scams and Tips to Avoid Them

(Pierre) – Spring is a time when many homeowners are beginning to plan home improvement projects. Attorney General Larry Long warns South Dakota Consumers that it is also the time of the year that brings an increase number of home repair scams.

“Transient crews usually travel from county to county offering jobs such as driveway paving, painting and roof work” said Long. “They usually approach consumers in their yards; promising low estimates because of left over materials from a previous job. They then provide inferior products that initially look good, but in just weeks the poor workmanship is obvious. By this time the transient crews are long gone.”

Long offers these tips to avoid becoming a victim:

·        Use a local, well-established contractor

·        Ask for several references and follow up to make sure the references were satisfied with the job

·        Always be skeptical of unsolicited offers to repair home or driveway

·        Never accept an offer without a written contract

·        Request a contract that describes in detail the work that needs to be done and make sure it includes a start and end date

·        Confirm that the contractor’s address and phone numbers are legitimate

·        If you sign a contract in your home you must be given a notice that you have three days in which to cancel the contract

South Dakota Consumers with questions or concerns about home improvement scams should contact the Consumer Protection Division at 800-300-1986 or by email at consumerhelp@state.sd.us.

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