Illinois Attorney General issued the following announcement on Aug. 9.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul encouraged Illinois families to visit his tent at the 2019 Illinois State Fair.
Raoul’s tent offers many free resources, including information to help homeowners and business owners avoid repair scams. Residents throughout Illinois are continuing to assess damage and recover from record flooding that impacted 36 counties, and visitors to Raoul’s tent will be able to access resources to help them avoid being pressured into making quick and often expensive decisions about cleanup and construction work. State Fair visitors will also be able to learn more about the programs and services the Attorney General’s office provides.
“Whether you go to the State Fair for the carnival rides, the animals, Conservation World, or the food I encourage you to visit the Attorney General’s tent,” Raoul said. “Meet my staff and receive information about what our office does to protect Illinois residents, from helping homeowners identify and avoid home repair scams after this year’s record flood levels and protecting seniors from fraud, to helping parents and guardians keep children safe online.”
Raoul’s tips to help protect families and businesses from dishonest contractors include:
-Be wary of contractors who go door-to-door to offer repair services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
-Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline (1-800-386-5438 in Chicago, 1-800-243-0618 in Springfield, and 1-800-243-0607 in Carbondale) to check out a contractor and to learn if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
-Visit the Better Business Bureau’s central Illinois, St. Louis or Chicago websites to see if a business is a member and whether any complaints have been lodged against it.
-Even if there is a need to act quickly, shop around. Get written estimates from multiple contractors, and don’t be rushed into a deal.
-Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a copy of the signed contract.
-Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
-Never pay in cash.
-Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
-In the case of disaster repair, if your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of your insurance carrier’s denial.
-Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. It should raise a red flag if the roofer or adjuster does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the business card or truck. Please visit the IDFPR’s website to search for roofing licenses. Visit the DOI’s website or call (866) 445-5364 to verify that a public adjuster is licensed and in good standing.
-In addition to resources to help residents guard against home repair fraud, Raoul’s tent offers information about other programs and services the Attorney General’s office provides, such as protecting children from online predators, supporting victims of violent crime, enforcing Illinois’ environmental laws, and child support enforcement.
Attorney General Raoul’s tent is located on Grandstand Avenue, and the office will also have an exhibit in the Illinois Building to provide information designed to help seniors recognize and avoid scams.
Original source can be found here.