BUCKS COUNTY, PA — Attorney General Michelle Henry issued a consumer alert warning Bucks County residents of home repair or improvement scams in the wake of catastrophic flooding.
Attorney General Henry is also advising homeowners to do their homework and know their rights before committing to contracts or services.
“I offer my sincere condolences to the families who are coping with the tragic deaths of loved ones, and my thoughts are with all those who were impacted by this flood,” Attorney General Henry said. “I also wish to commend the emergency responders who faced great danger to limit, as much as possible, the devastation that overwhelmed communities, seemingly, in an instant.”
You can contact the Office of Attorney General by filing a complaint online, calling 1-800-441-2555, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, the OAG has a searchable database for all registered contractors doing work in Pennsylvania HERE: https://hicsearch.attorneygeneral.gov/.
“As Bucks County rebuilds from this devastating flood event, there are likely to be scammers that see an opportunity to prey on residents and businesses in need of repairs quickly,” Attorney General Henry said. “I want Pennsylvania homeowners to know that my office is here for you. Call or email us with any questions about contractors including whether or not they are registered with our office, and please report suspicious activity and offers to us.”
The Office of Attorney General reminds Pennsylvanians that:
- After significant storms, homeowners may see more scams related to home improvement contracting and government loans or grants.
- Legitimate organizations will not ask for large sums of money prior to agreements and will provide written estimates and contracts before entering into any agreements.
- Under Pennsylvania law, contractors who perform home improvements totaling more than $5,000 per year are required to register with the Office.
Pennsylvanians are also encouraged to take proactive steps to protect themselves from home improvement scams by:
- Contacting their insurance companies to ensure that improvements are covered under their policy. Once a homeowner selects a contractor to complete repairs, they should not sign insurance checks or claims over to a contractor.
- Arranging with their bank or credit union for a Certificate of Completion. The bank will pay the contractor for each stage of the job after they have given their approval.