“Spring is a prime time for people looking to take advantage of senior citizens, people who live alone and families with weather-related damage to their homes,” McDaniel said. “I want consumers to be on the lookout for unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of them.”
Arkansas consumers have filed numerous complaints with the Attorney General’s office, including instances of fraudulent contractors offering roof repair, asphalt paving, and tree trimming, as well as verbal agreements that later could not be verified.
“The best rule of thumb is that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is,” McDaniel said. “The best protection against home-repair fraud is to get everything in writing.”
McDaniel cautions that homeowners should never cave to high-pressure tactics, such as contractors who say they’ll give you a better price if you agree to a deal on the spot.
Oftentimes, these con artists travel the region and don’t stay in one area for long. That means it can be difficult to track them down if you’re dissatisfied with their work.
Any contractor, building, repairing, or making improvements to a home costing more than $2,000, is required to be bonded and licensed by the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board. Contact the board at www.aclb.arkansas.gov or (501) 372-4661 to verify a contractor’s license, the date it was issued, and whether any complaints have been filed against that contractor. Ask for recommendations from people you trust.
Insist On a Written Contract
Have a written and signed contract before any work begins on your home or property. And make sure the following information is contained in the contract:
Use Caution in Hiring
For more information about consumer-related issues, or to file a complaint, visit GotYourBackArkansas.org or call the Consumer Protection Division’s hotline at (800) 482-8982.