February 24, 2024

photo by Diane Krauthamer

From The Office of the Attorney General (OAG):

“Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb, in collaboration with the DC Department of Buildings (DOB) and Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP), today issued the below consumer alert warning DC residents about home improvement scams and offering tips on what to look out for to avoid being scammed.

Consumer Alert: How To Avoid Home Improvement Scams and Disputes

Looking to upgrade, remodel, or improve your home? Finding a reliable and trustworthy home improvement contractor can be difficult. We frequently receive complaints from consumers about disputes with contractors, and suggest consumers follow these steps to choose a contractor with confidence, protect their investment, and avoid being scammed.

Red Flags for Home Improvement Scams

A good rule of thumb is always rely on common sense: if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some frequent home improvement scams include:

  • Contractors who show up at your door unannounced saying they just happened to be in the neighborhood;
  • Contractors who say they can offer a lower price by using surplus materials;
  • Contractors who pressure you to hire them immediately in order to receive a discount; and
  • Contractors who demand payment upfront or payment in cash, or who offer to arrange financing for you.

These are all signs of potentially deceptive and unethical business practices.

If consumers feel that they have been contacted or…

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