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LCSO: Bad weather encourages home improvement scams

September 5, 2017
Special to THE CITIZEN (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Lee County Sheriff's Office realizes that the homeowners with storm damage want to have their problems repaired as quickly as possible so they can regain a sense of normalcy.

However, the mindset to rush into repairs without first doing one's homework can leave one vulnerable to fly-by-night con-artists looking to make a quick buck by way of home improvement scams.

Fortunately, homeowners can avoid being left with an empty wallet and unfinished repair work by following the below tips that will help them steer clear of a shameless scammer:

- Avoid door-to-door solicitations at all costs. Hiring someone who randomly provides an unsolicited offer is a disaster waiting to happen. Many of these scammers have little to no experience in home repair, use high-pressure sales tactics, quote too good to be true prices and ask for payment upfront.

- Find a reputable contractor using referrals from friends, neighbors and co-workers. Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau; contact the Division of Business and Professional Regulation to verify professional licensing; confirm they have a business tax receipt with your county or city tax department; check the Division of Workers' Compensation for proof of coverage; and ask for proof of general liability insurance.

- Insist on a written contract detailing the work to be done, terms of service, et cetra.

- Never pay in full before the work is finished, especially when paying with cash.

For more information, call the LCSO Community Relations Unit at 239-258-3280, or contact the DBPR online at: www.myfloridalicense.com.

To report suspected unlicensed activity, call the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 866-532-1440.

Source: Lee County Sheriff's Office

 
 

 

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