KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas Attorney General's office released a consumer alert Thursday that urged residents to be aware of illegal contractors in the wake of damaging storms and fires that took place across the state Wednesday night.
“After storm damage, our instinct is to clean up and make repairs as quickly as possible,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in the alert. “Unfortunately, fraudulent contractors often rush into storm-damaged areas to take advantage of local residents in their time of need. It’s important to keep your guard up to avoid becoming victimized again by a scammer.”
The AG gave several tips to avoid scams.
"With few exceptions, roofing contractors operating in Kansas are required to register with the attorney general’s office," the alert said. "The online directory of registrations is available at www.InYourCornerKansas.org."
The AG's office also recommended some other strategies to find a legitimate contractor:
- Get recommendations and references
- Get at least three written estimates from different contractors
- Check contractor complaint records with the Better Business Bureau
- Understand your payment options and right to cancel
- Be sure your contractor is insured
- Document all agreements in writing, including a written contract detailing the scope of work, the quality of materials that will be used, warranties, timetables, the names of any subcontractors, the total price of the job, and the schedule of payments
If a person believes they have been scammed or come into contact with a fraudulent business, they can file a request at the consumer protection division by calling 800-432-2310 or online.
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.