WJTV News Channel 12 - Contractor? Scam Artist? Tips to Protect Yourself from Scams

Contractor? Scam Artist? Tips to Protect Yourself from Scams

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Monday night, deadly storms rip through Mississippi. Now, residents are dealing with the aftermath and clean up, with the clean up comes those willing to work and those ready to scam.

"People that will do a little work and take a payment and not come back." That's what Brandon Mayor Butch Lee is trying to avoid. He's requiring all contractors to get a transient vendors license to work in the city.
"That requirement means that they're bonded and they're insured for the work that they do," says Lee. He tells us the license is good for 90 days.
"We're try to protect homeowner and property owners to be ripped off," assures Lee.

Almeria Boyd has to hire a contractor to remove a tree off the top of her home and another in her front yard. She says workers have already tried to pitch their businesses. "I've got four people that came by, but i don't know anything about them, don't know where they're from. You can get in trouble taking the first one that comes by," says Boyd.

 Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood suggests using local contractors. He says most will not come to your front door, you'll have to reach out to them. When you do, Hood suggests to check their references and do your homework on the company. At the very least, Hood says to put technology, like your smart phone, to work.

"Make a picture of that person, record any conversation that you have with that person and get a contract in writing. Make sure they're a licensed contractor," says Hood.

To see if your contractor is licensed follow these links for more information: Mississippi Board of Contractors  http://www.msboc.us/
 Mississippi Attorney General's Office  http://www.ago.state.ms.us/  Mississippi Better Business Bureau  http://www.bbb.org/mississippi/
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