Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning New Yorkers about home repair scams for individuals who suffered property damage in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Gannett’s Haley Viccaro reports.
Cuomo is urging people who think they have been the victims of a scam to contact a lawyer immediately due to time deadlines to cancel sales. Individuals can also contact their district attorney, the Department of Financial Services or the Attorney General’s Office.
“You don’t want to add being cheated to the damage you have already suffered from the storm,” Cuomo said in a statement. “You can protect yourself by being on guard and taking simple precautions.”
Warning signs of a fraudulent contractor or salesman include someone who comes to your home or calls to offer repairs, insists on making repairs immediately, pressures you to sign a contract or offers a discounted price.
Cuomo warns to avoid unlicensed contractors in areas where one is required and also to be cautious of contractors who don’t supply references or say they don’t require a written contract.
“Always withhold final payment until you have completed a final walk through, approved of all the completed work, and all required inspections and certificates or occupancy have been delivered to you,” said Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky in a statement.
People can file a complaint with local consumer protection offices if there is a problem with a home improvement contractor or contact the state Department of State by visiting www.dos.ny.gov or by calling 1-800-697-1220.