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Unscrupulous Contractors Take Advantage of Those
in Need of Home Repairs
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler warned Orange County residents to be on the lookout this spring for scams perpetrated by unscrupulous contractors. People in need of home repairs, and even those who really are not, are often taken in this time of year by contractors selling repairs and services that are unnecessary or that have inflated prices. Contractors often up-front offer cut-rate work on gutters, chimneys, or driveways, or on lawn clean-up, work that is often unneeded, or work that is only a hook for more-expensive jobs with skyrocketing prices.
One of the most common contractor scams involves blacktopping. The contractor “happens” to be in a homeowner’s neighborhood with an “unused” load of blacktop and offers to roll it out on the homeowner’s driveway at a reduced price. The contractor then continues to find a need for additional blacktopping work and supplies, until the total price rises into the thousands of dollars.
“If a contractor’s offer seems too good to be true,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “it almost certainly is. If you need work on your home, do your own homework on the contractor before you hire him. Don’t trust the contractor who comes to your door soliciting your business. Check references. Get a written contract. Only pay for work in increments, as it’s being completed. And, above all, report suspected fraud to police. Reputable contractors perform valuable services, and earn their living honestly. But beware of the scammers.”