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Westport Police: Watch Out For Post-Sandy Scammers

Many Westport homes, like this one, were damaged during Hurricane Sandy and will need repairs.
Many Westport homes, like this one, were damaged during Hurricane Sandy and will need repairs. Photo Credit: Johanna Rossi

WESTPORT, Conn. – If your home needs repair work due to Hurricane Sandy, be careful who you hire, the Westport Police Department warns.

“There are many reputable contractors out there, but there are just as many ‘storm chasers’ who are looking to take advantage of you,” Westport Police Capt. Sam Arciola said Thursday afternoon in an announcement.

As of Thursday afternoon, the police department had not received any reports of home repair scams, Arciola said.

To help keep it that way, he said the department urges residents to be suspicious of anyone who shows up uninvited at their door, drives an unmarked truck or van or asks for a lot of money/full payment up front.

Also, residents should stay away from any contractor who uses high pressure sales tactics or who requires the homeowner to get the necessary permits.

To further protect yourself from home repair scammers, the Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips:

? Check the contractor’s identification and references.

? Avoid paying more than the minimum in advance, and don’t pay cash.

? Deal with reputable people in your community.

? Call the Police Department and the Better Business Bureau if you suspect a con.

? Always ask for copies of the contractor’s general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

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