Consumer Alert: Springtime scams - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Consumer Alert: Springtime scams

Ohioans need to be aware of springtime scams with contractors. (Source: WOIO) Ohioans need to be aware of springtime scams with contractors. (Source: WOIO)
(WOIO) - It's the season for spring cleaning and sprucing up your house. But it's also the time for springtime scams! With all the storms that will likely come our way, there's no doubt someone will knock on your door offering to fix any damage. Here are the red flags you need to keep in your tool box.

"We still have a window up there that`s broken," said Brian Majors. "Basically our fence is gone."

Last year, a storm ripped up his house, so he hired a contractor to fix it. But after two months, his house was still a mess.

"We were told it would take 10 to 12 days," he says.

There is no end to Ohioans who are taken by bad contractors. The top springtime scams include things like roofing, tree trimming, and driveway sealing. You should watch out for people who come knocking on your door and want you to say "yes" in a hurry. 

"I'm already here. I'm doing tree trimming. I'm doing roof work. While I'm here I can do it for cheaper, but you have to do something right now. That's probably the number one problem," said attorney Greg Zoeller.

You should also beware of legitimate contractors who get so overwhelmed with work, that they hire subcontractors to help catch up.

Do your homework. Don't rush.

"You need to recognize when it's an emergency and when it's not," says Zoeller.

Majors just wanted his home repaired, but the man in charge of his repairs had been convicted of theft and corrupt business influence.

He finally got his house fixed, but he's one of the lucky ones. Now he's learned a valuable lesson.

"I think you should get references, get pictures, know that who you're dealing with is a credible and legitimate person and not a scam artist," he suggested.

Here are some helpful links on what to do and who to contact:

-Attorney General DeWine Warns of Spring Scams
-Severe Weather Help from the BBB

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