Mary Carroll Sullivan

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Beware of Fraudulent Contractors

MSBOC WARNS VICTIMS OF MONDAY’S STORMS TO BE WARY OF FRAUDULENT CONTRACTORS WHO PREY ON STORM DAMAGED VICTIMS

Jackson, MS (Press Release) The Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC) warns homeowners and businesses affected by tornadoes and severe weather that moved through the state on Monday to be wary of fraudulent contractors who prey on storm damaged victims. The agency urges property owners to be vigilant when it comes to contracting for storm damage clean up and repairs. Consumers can use MSBOC online resources at www.msboc.us to check the license status of a contractor they plan to hire, and to get tips on wise repair and improvement choices.

MSBOC Executive Director, Stephanie Lee, reminds those affected by severe weather across the state that certain types of residential and commercial contractors require state license and warns home and business owners to be wary of potential scams. Although most contractors are honest, there are contractors who take advantage of individuals, especially in disaster situations, warns Lee.

Typical severe weather damage that may require a contractor to hold a state-issued license includes major structural repair, roof repair, electrical, plumbing and HVAC. Consumers can verify if a contractor is properly licensed or file a complaint against a contractor online at: www.msboc.us.

Lee offers the following suggestions to consumers when hiring contractors to repair any damage sustained as a result of severe weather:

  • Be cautious of door to door solicitors.
  • Don’t pay cash or give money up front.
  • Get at least three estimates and verify references.
  • Have a written agreement detailing the work to be performed.
  • Hire only licensed Mississippi contractors to perform repairs.

MSBOC is charged with protecting the health, safety and welfare of all persons dealing with those engaged in the vocation of contracting and to afford such persons effective and practical protection against incompetent, inexperienced, unlawful and fraudulent acts of contractors. MSBOC disaster response team members will be dispatched to those areas affected by Monday’s storms to help guard against unscrupulous contractors.

For more information contact the Mississippi State Board of Contractors at (800) 880-6161 or online at www.msboc.us.