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Watch out for home improvement scams during Ida cleanup in Pa.

After Ida dumped inches of rain across the state, the PA attorney general is warning Pennsylvanians to watch out for scams.
Credit: WPMT FOX43
Above, a bridge in Lancaster County nearly submerged in the remnants of Hurricane Ida earlier this year.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Inches of rain from storm Ida means people across Pennsylvania may need some things to be fixed around the house or water pumped out of basements.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wants people to remember their rights when hiring a contractor to fix those issues. It's all part of Pennsylvania's Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act.

When you hire a home contractor, make sure you get a contract. You should get an itemized contract for no extra cost. Keep in mind that you should not pay anything until that complete contract is signed. 

In Pennsylvania, contractors register with the state Attorney General`s office. They fill out an application, pay $50, and get a contractor number. Contractors do need to disclose if they have ever been convicted or plead guilty to a crime related to a home improvement transaction. However, the way the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act is currently written there is nothing that allows the Attorney General`s office to stop a person from performing home improvement work unless there is a specific court order.

Also know that changing a contract without your consent, not finishing the work you paid for, and lying about the work are all signs of home improvement fraud. You can learn more about that here.

You can file a fraud complaint with the AG's office by emailing scams@attorneygeneral.gov or calling 1-800-441-2555. 

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