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Home Repair Scams

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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This is the time of year home improvement scams seem to appear. Damage from weather related incidents happen quite often these days, many are out to earn a buck. There will be billions of dollars spent in home repair this year. It is important to be on top of these repairs and who is offering to provide repair services.

To protect yourself from home repair fraud the Nebraska Consumer Protection Division offers the following advice.

  • Be aware of door to door repair people.
  • The “contractor” uses high-pressure sales tactics.
  • A small repair problem becomes a large problem.
  • There is pressure to make the decision immediately.
  • The “contractor” is unwilling to provide an estimate or references.
  • Up front payment for services is demanded.
  • If you have repairs needing to be fixed always use a local well-established contractor.
  • Always ask for references so you can check if previous customers were pleased with the contractors work.
  • Get up to three bids for the work. If the bid seems to good to be true it probably is.
  • Check to see if the contractor is registered in Nebraska by calling 402-595-3095.
  • Ask friends and neighbors for reliable repair people.

If you are concerned or suspect a scam contact:

Consumer Protection Division
2115 State Capitol Building
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2682 or call the Consumer Protection Hotline 1-800-727-6432.

Don’t be one of the many families who are taken in by a too good to be true scam. Check out the companies and contractors you choose to do your repair work.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was updated June 2008 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
Web site: lancaster.unl.edu
444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68528 | 402-441-7180