BACP Issues Post Storm Consumer Alert

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) cautions consumers about home repair con artists and other types of scammers who prey on residents who have suffered water damage to their homes or properties as a result of severe weather.

Scammers can descend on stricken neighborhoods going door to door offering clean up services or home repair services—promising to do the work quickly.  They pressure people when they are the most vulnerable into making decisions on the spot.  They tend to use cheap inferior materials, if they do the work at all and when things fall apart or they do not complete the work……they are gone….they disappear.

When people are distraught they let their guard down….they want things back to normal, but I’m here to tell you, be on guard, as consumers, know your rights and assert your rights.

Also, beware of fraudulent claim adjusters or individuals trying to collect personal identification or bank information claiming to be from your insurance company or a government agency.

Slow, simple steps are easy ways to avoid being scammed after suffering damage to your property.

  • If someone comes to your door claiming to be from your insurance company or a government agency VERIFY.
  • Be wary of contractors who materialize after a severe storm, flooding or disaster.
  • Do not hire people who show up at your door offering services. Legitimate contractors generally do not seek customers in this manner.
  • Don’t rush.  Resist high pressure tactics such as the “good deal,” if you hire on the spot.
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed.
  • Ask for proof of insurance.
  • Ask for and check references.
  • Get written estimates.
  • Do not pay for a job in advance.
  • And do not pay in cash.

Consumers looking to determine whether a contractor is licensed or to file a complaint can visit the City’s website at www.cityofchicago.org or call 311.

Here are some links that can assist you:

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