Phelps warns homeowners to be on alert for storm related home repair scams

Phelps warns homeowners to be on alert for storm related home repair scams

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Illinois Representative Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, warned local residents to be on alert for home repair con artists targeting Southern Illinois homeowners and local businesses who may need repairs due to storm related damage.

"Southern Illinois has a long history of dealing with destructive weather, " said Phelps. "It's a shame because we've seen reports of individuals who will attempt to scam and profit from the destruction left in the wake of a storm."

Phelps urged residents to reach out if they would like to report suspicious activity on behalf of a contractor, and also directed residents to,

- 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 of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain 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.

Phelps said, "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."