SCAM ALERT Home Repair Fraud
Mr. and Mrs. Richards, who have lived in the same double wide mobile home for over 20 years, received a call from a local mobile home repair company offering to do a "free stabilization check" on their mobile home. Although they had not noticed any problems, the Richards agreed to an appointment for that same afternoon. After crawling underneath the mobile home, employees informed the Richards, without benefit of a written work estimate, that their jacks were weakened by rust, did not meet the new earthquake-proof standards, and warned them that their home would definitely be destroyed in even a mild earthquake. They offered to discount the work if the Richards would pay cash and sign an emergency waiver so that work could begin immediately.
TIPS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION:
- Plan ahead. Know which services you want or need before contacting a contractor
- Get two or more detailed estimates from reputable contractors. Contact the Contractors State License Board and the Better Business Bureau to check the license of the contractor and access any complaint records on that license.
- Contact your local building inspection department to check for permit and inspection requirements.
- Call your insurance company to find out if you are covered for any injury or damage that might occur on your property and be sure your contractor has the required employee insurance.
- Insist on a complete written contract which reflects exactly the scope of the work, the quality of materials that will be used, timetables, the names of any subcontractors, the total price of the job, and the schedule of payments.
- Never make a down payment on a job of more than 10% or $1,000.00 (whichever is less) before the work is completed.
- Understand your three day cancellation rights and donít sign them away on an emergency waiver.
If you feel you have been a victim of a home repair fraud please file a complaint with the Contractors State License Board or Better Business Bureau, and the Riverside County C.A.R.E. Program:
Riverside County C.A.R.E. Program at (909) 791-3446
Contractors State License Board at 1-800-321-2752
Better Business Bureau at (909) 825-7280
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