Attorney General warns of home repair scams

The Indiana Attorney General’s office wants to you to be on the alert for home repair scams after the recent high winds and other bad weather. They warn that scammers will frequently drive door-to-door in neighborhoods looking for victims.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller said these sorts of scams are the third most common scams reported to the office. He advises several safety tips including:

  • Take your time. Don’t let the contractor rush your decision.
  • Do your research. Know how much you can afford and what you want done.
  • Get multiple price quotes from different contractors.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office to see if complaints have been filed against the contractor.
  • Check to make sure the contractor is locally licensed, bonded and insured. A performance bond provides the most direct protection for the consumer.  Bonds that cover municipal code compliance may be helpful but would not offer direct monetary recovery for an aggrieved consumer.
  • Opt for the local, well-established contractor rather than the door-to-door ‘storm chaser.’
  • Get a contract in writing that details what work is to be done and when it will be finished.
  • If the contractor came to your door unsolicited, ensure you receive a notice from the contractor of your ability to cancel the contract within three days for a full refund before signing any contract.
  • Never pay for the entire project before the work begins. Do not pay more than a third of the total cost as a down payment.