Illinois lawmaker warns of home repair scams

Illinois State Rep. Brandon Phelps, who represents the 118th district, wants to warn folks in the Harrisburg area about storm-related home repair scams.

Phelps' office said Wednesday that folks should be alert for "home repair con artists" it said are targeting southern Illinois homeowners and businesses needing storm damage repairs. 

Phelps listed the following tips provided by the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Division:

  • Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair services.
  • Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust.
  • Whenever possible, use established local contractors.
  • Get all the terms of a contract in writing, and get a copy of the signed contract.
  • Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
  • Never pay in cash.
  • Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
  • In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your insurance carrier denies your coverage.
  • Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. If the contractor does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the contractor’s business card or truck, that should raise a red flag.

“If you think you might have been targeted by a con artist, please call my district office at 618-253-4189 or the Attorney General’s Carbondale Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-243-0607,” Phelps said.

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