Zabasearch Warns Oklahoma Storm Victims to Watch for Home Repair Scams

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Zabasearch Encourages Residents to be Discerning if Approached by Home Repair Contractors After the Recent Storms

We know from past experience that this type of damage attracts criminals looking for ways to take advantage of Oklahomans

According to a recent report issued by Oklahoma news station KTUL, Attorney General Scott Pruitt released a warning for residents affected by violent storms that swept across areas of Oklahoma last week. Pruitt warned home owners to be cautious of fraudsters trying to cash in on storm victims with home repair schemes. These home repair schemes are common after severe weather causes damage to homes in the affected area.

"We know from past experience that this type of damage attracts criminals looking for ways to take advantage of Oklahomans," Pruitt said. "We're getting the message out now so people can be aware of such quick-fix schemes and spread the word to neighbors and family members before they become victims."

Home and business owners, eager to repair the storm damage to their property will want to make repairs as soon as possible. But Zabasearch echoes the Attorney General Pruitt’s cautionary announcement warning the public to be discerning and diligent when selecting a home repair company or private contractor. Investigators from the US Public Protection Unit have already prosecuted dishonest and fraudulent repair workers. These con artists are often referred to as ‘travelers’, and they are known to chase storms and natural disasters across the nation preying on storm victims, profiting from their hardship.

Zabasearch along with the Oklahoma Attorney General recommends the following guidelines for selecting a reputable contractor or home repair company:

Get References: Ask friends, family, or neighbors for recommendations for a reputable and honest contractor or repair service. If unable to get a referral, ask the service provider for customer references and contact them.

Deal Locally: If possible, deal with local firms that with a track record of honesty and fair dealings.

Do Some Research: Look up the contractor or home repair service on Zabasearch’s business search, the Attorney General's Public Protection Unit and the Better Business Bureau.

Get it in Writing: Get written estimates from several firms, and never engage in business without a detailed written contract. If possible, have a lawyer review the contract before signing. Also, make sure all start and completion dates are written into the contract.

Red flags and signs of fraudulent contractor or home repair service:

  •     Individuals or companies that solicit door-to-door
  •     Services that only accept cash payments
  •     People that use high-pressure tactics and want an immediate decision
  •     Request payment-in-full up-front, before they complete the job

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