How to avoid post-storm contractor scams - FOX 13 News

Superstorm Sandy

How to avoid post-storm contractor scams

Posted: Updated:
MYFOXNY.COM -

If you need your home repaired after Hurricane Sandy, the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs has a warning so you won't get ripped off.

Eric Kanefsky, the acting director, urges you to do your own due diligence when picking a contractor. He said his division has already seen home improvement scams after Sandy.

The most important thing to know check to make sure your contractor is licensed with the state, he said. That does not guarantee that the contractor will do the job right or won't try to cheat you, but it is at least a start.

After Hurricane Irene in 2011, state officials set up a sting and caught 10 unregistered home improvement contractors trying to take advantage after a storm.

This time the acting director said the division will again be actively looking for anyone trying to take advantage of hurricane victims.

Here are some more tips on avoiding disaster-related scams:

  • Call the Division of Consumer Affairs to learn whether the contractor is registered, and whether the contractor has been the subject of any consumer complaints.
  • Demand a copy of the contractor's liability insurance policy. Call the insurer to make sure the policy is still valid.
  • Demand a written contract. Don't sign or pay for anything unless you understand and agree to all of the terms and conditions, including the fine print. Be sure to carefully review the list of materials that will be used.
  • Never pay the full price up-front.
  • Demand ID from anyone who claims to be from a utility company and wishes to inspect your home.
  • Never give your credit card number to strangers over the phone or Internet.
  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Man convicted of murder in fatal sauce pan beating

    Man convicted of murder in fatal sauce pan beating

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:48 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:48:41 GMT
    A man who claimed he was high on drugs and hearing voices when he fatally beat an elderly man with a sauce pan has been found guilty of felony murder.
    A New Jersey man who said he was high on drugs and hearing voices when he fatally beat an elderly man with a sauce pan has been convicted of murder.
  • Mosquito-borne virus sickens 20 in NJ

    West Nile found in New Jersey mosquitoes

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:09 PM EDT2014-07-29 17:09:31 GMT
    Twenty New Jersey residents have tested positive for a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. The state Health Department says the residents who came down with chikungunya had returned to New Jersey from the Caribbean. Chikungunya causes a high fever and severe pain in the joints. It is rarely fatal.
    Twenty New Jersey residents have tested positive for a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. The state Health Department says the residents who came down with chikungunya had returned to New Jersey from the Caribbean. Chikungunya causes a high fever and severe pain in the joints. It is rarely fatal.
  • Stuck NJ Transit train removed

    Stuck NJ Transit train removed

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:24:49 GMT
    A New Jersey Transit commuter train with about 1,000 passengers on board became disabled just outside the Hudson River tunnel in Manhattan on Tuesday morning. The train which was on the Northeast Corridor line broke down near 10th Ave., according to NJ Transit officials.  It is not clear what caused the mechanical problem. Lighting and air conditioning on the train were never impacted, according to NJ Transit.
    A New Jersey Transit commuter train with about 1,000 passengers on board became disabled just outside the Hudson River tunnel in Manhattan on Tuesday morning. The train which was on the Northeast Corridor line broke down near 10th Ave., according to NJ Transit officials.  It is not clear what caused the mechanical problem. Lighting and air conditioning on the train were never impacted, according to NJ Transit.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices