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Avoid Home Repair Fraud

Disasters seem to attract con artists from throughout the country.

“Don’t be a victim of home repair fraud,” says [insert name and title] of [insert county name].

Here are some tips to keep from being scammed:

  • Shop around before hiring someone to repair your home or business after a disaster.
  • Be wary of door-to-door salesmen.
  • Conduct business only with established, licensed and insured workers.
  • Do not be fooled by company names similar to established repair firms.
  • Don’t let anyone rush you into a deal.
  • Never let anyone start repairs until you have a written contract.

The contract should include the contractor’s name, business name, phone number and address. You should verify this information with your state’s attorney general’s office, especially if you have any doubts.

The contract also should include a thorough description of the work to be done, the grade and quality of the materials to be used, the agreed-upon start and completion dates, total cost, payment schedule, warranties and warranty limits, and the contractor’s signature.

Do not make your first payment until the contract is established. Make your final payment when the work is completed to your satisfaction.

For more information, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/flood or www.extension.org/Floods.

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