As more and more stories pour in claiming contractor fraud, Sandy victims need to be more cautious than ever. Contractors have been accused of accepting money from victims without completing the project. This leaves our victims without a contractor and possibly out hundreds of thousands of dollars. The OCLTRG wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to any more members of our community. Here are some tips to follow from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs:
- Work with a contractor who is recommended by people you know. Ask for references
- Contact the state Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-242-5846 or check www.njconsumeraffairs.gov to see if the contractor is registered.
- Before hiring, demand a copy of the contractor’s liability insurance policy and check with the insurer to make sure it’s valid.
- Obtain a written contract. Contracts for jobs costing $500 or more require a written contract. It must include the contractor name, address, and registration number. A registration number begins with 13VH.
- Don’t pay all at once. The general practice is pay one-third up front, one-third halfway through, and one-third upon completion.
Source: Willis, David P. “Contractors face $1.3M in fines, consumer restitution.” Observer Reporter 24 July 2013: A8. Print.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of Sandy Contractor Fraud, please follow the steps posted by the state’s Statewide Sandy Fraud Working Group (link below):