Attorney General warning Arkansans to not let scam artists clean out wallets after storm damage

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Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general speaks to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. A bipartisan coalition of 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia said Monday it is investigating whether Google’s search and advertising business is engaged in monopolistic behavior. It follows a Friday announcement of a similar multistate probe targeting Facebook. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans to not let scam artists clean out their wallets after storm damage.

As storm victims assess the storm damage, scammers take advantage of Arkansans suffering from property damage or losses. The Attorney General says that Arkansans should use caution when they are looking for a contractor to help with repairs.

“Arkansans always come together after a natural disaster, but it is also common in bad situations to see bad actors,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “These bad actors prey on victims of severe weather to take advantage of the potentially urgent nature of storm damage repairs. I urge anyone who is seeking home and auto repairs to be cautious of potential scams that are common after storms.”

Rutledge released tips to ensure Arkansans hire reputable contractors to help with their repairs. The following tips are:

  • Beware of door-to-door solicitors selling home-repair work. To find someone reputable, ask friends or family who has recently used a home-repair contractor or professional. Consider contacting the Arkansas Contractor’s Licensing Board to verify that the contractor is licensed and has not had any complaints filed against it.
  • Avoid any home-repair solicitor who asks for an upfront payment or who will not provide a written contract.
  • Get at least three written estimates. A reputable contractor or professional will never try to pressure to obtain business.
  • Obtain and check at least three references from the contractor or professional.
  • Check with the Attorney General’s office or the Better Business Bureau to find out if the company has a complaint history.
  • Obtain a written and detailed contract that includes the grade, quality, name brand, and quantity of any materials to be used. The name and address of the contractor must be on the contract.
  • Avoid paying for the entire job upfront. One-third paid in advance, one-third paid halfway through the job, and one-third paid upon completion is a better plan, helping assure that the project will be completed. Never make the final payment until there has been an opportunity to inspect the work.
  • Remember that all contracts resulting from a home-solicitation sale generally must include a buyer’s right to cancel within three business days after the contract is signed.

For more information you can cantact the Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or go to ArkansasAG.gov.

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