Falling Leaves, Increasing Scams

Falling Leaves, Increasing Scams

Attorney General issues Consumer Alert


LITTLE ROCK – Consumers should use caution when hiring someone to rake leaves or clean out the gutters because con artists will be looking to take advantage. Home improvement scams are commonly in the top ten complaints the Attorney General’s office receives each year, with 442 complaints filed in 2016.

“Yard care and home repairs can be costly,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “But an unlicensed or unreliable individual or company can make the project even more expensive.

Consumers are often left having already paid and the job incomplete or not done at all.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following advice before hiring a person or company to do yard work around your home this fall:

• Ask for recommendations from people you trust.

• Have a written and signed contract before any work begins on your home or property.

• Think twice before hiring out-of-town or unknown contractors, especially those soliciting doorto- door.

• Question contractors who use terms like “special introductory offer,” “limited-time offer” or those who offer discounts to use your house as a “model home.”

• Do not fall for highpressure tactics from contractors who want to discuss the price of the job later.

• Beware of those demanding a full payment before work is finished.

Arkansans should consider contacting the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board (ACLB) at ACLB.Arkansas.gov or (501) 372-4661 to verify a contractor’s license, the date it was issued and whether any complaints have been filed against that contractor. Any contractor building, repairing or doing improvements to a home costing more than $2,000 is required to be bonded and licensed by the ACLB.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRu tledge.

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. She is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office. Since taking office, she has begun a Mobile Office program, a Military and Veterans Initiative, a Metal Theft Prevention program and a Cooperative Disability Investigations program.

By Judd Deere