INDIANA – Attorney General Todd Rokita warns Hoosiers to avoid scams this fall. This is a popular time to travel, move, and undertake home improvement projects, but it’s also it’s a time for scammers to find new victims.
“When planning out your fall vacations and projects, remember anyone can be the target of a scam,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Often, when a deal seems too good to be true, it is. This applies to your fall getaways and home improvement projects. Hoosiers can protect themselves by asking the right questions and doing their research before making any big plans.”
To prevent the headache of being scammed by a contractor, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General and the Indiana Builders Association offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to a home repair scam:
- Ask your family, friends, and co-workers for contractors they have used who have done good work.
- Before signing a contract or making a payment, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and the Better Business Bureau for complaint information on contractors you are considering.
- Get multiple bids from local contractors. Avoid contractors who spontaneously show up at your door offering a “bargain” price for painting, driveway sealing, roof repairs, etc.
- Never pay for the entire project before the work begins.
- Don’t make the final payment to the contractor until you know all suppliers of materials and all subcontractors have been paid.
While this time of year is full of beautiful Indiana foliage, it is also a time for vacation scams. Hoosiers can avoid common travel scams by following these simple tips:
- Be extra cautious when booking through an unfamiliar company. Check the Better Business Bureau ratings and research the name online to see if there are any allegations of scams.
- Read the fine print in the contract before you sign it. It will tell you about the conditions under which the operator can change or cancel the trip and the rules and penalties for cancellation.
- Pay by credit card. It gives you more protection than cash or checks.
- Use good judgment when sharing about your trip on social media. Consider changing your online privacy settings while on your trip.
- Lock your valuables, including personal information, in your trunk or a hotel safe.
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, file a complaint at www.indianaconsumer.com with Attorney General Rokita’s office.