Crime
4:50 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Triad Residents Among Several Who Are Victims of Alleged Home Repair Scams

The warm weather may have you thinking about making those home repairs and improvements, but residents should beware of home-repair scams and rip-offs.

The N.C. Attorney Generals Office says home construction and repair work made the list of top consumer complaints in 2012.
Credit by flickr user ilovebutter

Last year, the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office received more than 1,400 complaints about home construction and repair work. 

“They often claim to spot damage to your roof. They say that your chimney is about to separate from your house and has to be fixed immediately,” says N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Cooper says many scam artists target homeowners, especially seniors.

“These guys are hard to catch because they often work a geographic area for a time, and then move on to the next place.”

Cooper says, “We just took a company in Orange County to court and got them shut down.”

This is the fifth paving scam case Cooper’s office has taken to court in recent years. 

Last month, Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, Jr. agreed with Cooper’s request for a temporary restraining order against Jimmy Stevens of Hillsborough and his various companies, including Orange Paving.

Cooper’s office says some of the alleged victims in the case are from Creedmoor, Kernersville and Raleigh. They reported losing between $1,250 and $7,000 to the scam. The Consumer Protection Division has also heard from victims in Thomasville.

He says there are a number of things people can do to protect themselves.

“Just don't deal with people who will knock on your door or just leave a door hanger on your door knob. Also, get a licensed professional and make sure you check them out with the Better Business Bureau or our office,” says Cooper.

Cooper also recommends getting an estimate in writing.

“Also, don't pay for the repairs with a bunch of money up front, because sometimes people will run off with the money and not finish the job they started,” says Cooper.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a scam or home repair fraud should report the incident to the Attorney General’s office or file a complaint on-line.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper talks about recent home repair scams and how residents can protect themselves.