Police warn of home repair scams - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police warn of home repair scams

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Dubuque (KWWL) -- Hammers are pounding all over town; workers busy on spring projects, but crooks can also capitalize.

"Everybody gets spring fever, and they start cleaning up their yards, and taking care of the outside projects again that they haven't been doing for the last few months, and it's just a prime time for the scammers too," Captain Mark Dalsing said.

Local contractors say they always recommend you get a written contract, make sure the company is insured, and don't pay too much up front.

"If they want ten percent, that's fine. But anything more than that, there's something going on, and they shouldn't do it," Dan Baker of Masters Siding and Insulation said.

"Maybe they'll come do some initial work so it looks like they're actually going to do the job, and then they just disappear without ever completing the work and having money in their pocket," Dalsing said.

Police also tell us a phony contractor may really be a burglar. They might knock on your door, ask you to come outside and look at something on your house, while an accomplice goes inside and burglarizes you.

When it comes to home repair contractors say mother, or at least your neighbor, really might know best.

"Talk to your neighbors, talk to your friends, talk to your relatives. Those are the people that have work done by people in the tri-state area, so that's one of the biggest things," Baker said.

Another tip from the contractors and police: legitimate contractors will rarely contact you without an appointment, so someone going door-to-door is a big red flag.

Police say if you have doubts about a contractor, call the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General's office to check them out. For immediate identification concerns, you can call the police department.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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