Monday, November 2, 2015

Beware of cold weather scams

Government officials in New York State have issued a consumer alert, advising the public, especially seniors, how to avoid potential scams that may occur with the onset of colder weather.

Consumers should protect themselves when hiring contractors to perform winter-related services by considering the following:

• Shop around. Get at least three estimates from reputable contractors that include specific information about the materials and services to be provided for the job. • Get it in writing. Insist on a written contract that includes the price and description of the work needed. • Do not pay unreasonable advance sums. Negotiate a payment schedule tied to the completion of specific stages of the job. Never pay the full price up front. • Get references. Check with the Better Business Bureau, banks, suppliers, and neighbors. Always contact references provided to you. • Know your rights. You have three days to cancel after signing a contract for home improvements. All cancellations must be in writing.
Persons who believe they were the victim of a scam can contact the New York State Consumer Frauds Bureau by calling 1-800-771-7755.

For more information, click here.