Home Repairs

Scam Household Repairs

Unnecessary electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling and structural repairs by scammers

Scammers have a new target: your home. Fraud repairmen now take out ads in telephone directories in major metropolitan areas. The ads are made to look like legitimate electricians, plumbers, heating/air conditioning repairmen, roofers and other house repair services.  And their target is often the elderly, who tend to use the yellow pages more often than other age groups to find repairmen.

Once they have inspected the problem, the repairman pressures the customer to authorize repairs that aren't needed or even bills for work that isn't done, knowing that the customer isn't knowledgeable enough to know otherwise.

These scams exist almost everywhere but here are some examples of companies that either are fake business running this scam or are real business that have been convicted of running a scam of this type:

California - According to an article in the Sacramento Bee these companies have face disciplinary action:

  • 59 Minute Service, license number 837697;

  • ASAP Electric, 833296;

  • USA Services, license number 775863; and

  • American Plumbing and Electric, 834206.

And these are under investigation:

  • Citywide Electric, with license number 873106

How to find a reputable repair services:

  • ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations of contractors they've used,

  • Try well-known online service review websites, like Angies List and Kudzu.com and

  • confirm the contractor's license online at your state government website (eg, California: www.cslb.ca.gov  or by calling (800) 321-2752). See this page (coming!) for a state-by-state list of government contacts.

  • See this page for a complete list of tips!

What to do if you think you have been scammed by a repairman

  • Call your state contractor's board (see this page)

  • Contact you state's consumer affairs department

 


 

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