Recent rains are causing more than just greener lawns. An alert has been issued by the Los Angeles City's Attorney's Office warning about scam artists preying on folks with a leaky roof.
Unlicensed contractors will often approach homeowners after a storm. L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer is advising residents to watch out for the warning signs of a potential scam.
"They might tell the consumer that they have materials left over from another job and can offer a really good deal — that's a red flag," Feuer told KPCC. "They might ask for a large down payment, or for the entire payment up-front to buy materials or otherwise."
He said senior citizens are often the most vulnerable to these scams.
Feuer recommends adopting certain practices when looking to hire a contractor:
- Always verify that a contractor is properly licensed through the state's Contractors State License Board.
- Get and compare at least three estimates from different contractors before selecting who will do the work.
- Know the law: a contractor may not charge a down payment of more than $1,000 or 10 percent of the contract amount, whichever is less.
- Do not make a final payment until the job is done.
Checking references and getting a written proposal before agreeing to any contract are also things to consider.
For more information on scams that target seniors, visit the District Attorney's website.