Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has warned Connecticut residents to be on alert for tree removal, power restoration or other repair scams in areas still without power or where heavy damage resulted from Tropical Storm Isaias.
After past significant storms and weather events, Connecticut residents have reported individuals, some claiming to work for utility companies, going door to door offering to reconnect electric power, repair roofs, remove trees or do other work in exchange for cash, according to a press release issued by Tong’s office. The utility companies, and their authorized contractors, always carry identification and none will ask for payments from consumers. Tong warned in the release that consumers should be wary of any other contractor who is either going door to door, or who reaches out offering a service during this time, according to the release.
“With some Connecticut residents still waiting desperately for their power to be reconnected and/or trees to be removed from their driveways, it is important to be vigilant of bad actors looking to make money off vulnerable, frustrated people,” Tong said in the release. “Always verify the legitimacy of a contractor or business offering to do work for you.”
Tong advised Connecticut residents to hire only contractors licensed by the state to repair damage to their homes and property. He said consumers should always verify the registration and insurance of any individual or company before allowing them to work on their property.
When contracting for home repairs, homeowners should always use licensed local contractors and ask for and investigate their references, Tong added. Furthermore, consumers should be sure to ask for a written estimate from at least three contractors that include labor and materials, read the fine print before signing a contract, and do not pay a contractor in-full in advance, according to the release.
Tong further cautioned consumers against purchasing electrical generators from unlicensed retailers, sometimes from the backs of trucks, as there are serious risks posed by a damaged or defective generator, the release added.
Suspected scams can be reported to the Office of the Attorney General or to the Department of Consumer Protection’s Hotline.
Source: Connecticut Office of the Attorney General
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