Storm Warning


Scam Artists First to Follow Last Raindrop

BALTIMORE (9-5-08) – Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez warns homeowners to be cautious of scam artists and unlicensed contractors following any major storm.

The projected path of “Hanna” takes the storm along the eastern seaboard and is forecasted to bring parts of Maryland heavy rains and gusty winds. Unlicensed contractors and scam artists may try to take advantage of homeowners who sustained damage during the storm.

“These scam artists and unlicensed contractors will be knocking as soon as that last raindrop falls,” said Secretary Perez. “They will offer to do the job at a lower price, and in half the time of any other contractor. It may seem like a great deal at first, but it will cost you in the end when the unlicensed contractor takes your money and never returns.”

Homeowners who use Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) licensed contractors are protected by the Home Improvement Law and are eligible for coverage by the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund. The Guaranty Fund provides homeowners with up to $20,000 dollars for losses caused by poor or incomplete work by MHIC licensed contractors.

“It is Maryland law for all Home Improvement Contractors to be licensed,” said Stan Botts, Commissioner for the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. “Homeowners will be distraught and want the work done quickly following a storm, but they must consider the consequences before entrusting their home and family's well-being to an unlicensed contractor.”

Finding a licensed contractor is easy. Consumers can access information and services from Maryland Home Improvement Commission by calling 888-218-5925, or on the Maryland Home Improvement Commission web page.

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Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Press Release