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BE CAREFUL of door-to-door solicitations, especially following a storm or disaster.  

Below are suggestions for avoiding disaster scams and repair fraud:

Obtain at least three estimates – When you request an estimate from a contractor, find out if there is a charge for the estimate – whether or not you decide to use the contractor.  Remember, the lowest estimate may not reflect the quality of materials used.

Ask for a license or registration – before signing a contract, make sure the roofing contractor is currently registered with the Construction Industries Board or the plumbing, mechanical (heating and air, etc.), or electrical contractor is currently licensed by the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board.   

Verify the contractor’s information – obtain names, addresses, phone numbers, and license or registration numbers.  Verify the license or registration is current by going to www.ok.gov/cib/, or calling the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board at 405-521-6550 if you do not find them on the CIB web page.

Request references – inquire about similar work performed by the contractor.  Ask to see a job in progress and ask for the name and number of a customer who had work done over a year ago.  

Get a written contract – Always obtain a written contract before you allow work to begin on your property.  Written contracts may help clarify specific details, such as, the date the work will begin, a detailed description of what work will be done or not done, and a completion date.

Request to see the building permit – certain types of home repair or improvements require building permits from your local government.  Check with your local licensing and permit department to see if a permit is needed.  If it is, make sure the contractor shows you the building permit before you allow work to begin.

Report Home Repair Fraud to: Oklahoma Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit at 405-521-2029.  For more Attorney General information on disaster scams and repair fraud, click here.

For insurance information or to report insurance fraud, go to the Oklahoma Insurance Department web page.

Disclaimer – the Construction Industries Board requires applicants to meet the requirements of the licensing and registration laws but does not guarantee the quality of their work.  Furthermore, this is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.