Asst. Attorney General to host contractor scam prevention

On May 6, 2013 a Free “SmartPower” workshop to educate homeowners on contractor fraud and scams will be open to the public from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

After getting scores of calls from residents across the country who have been victimized by shady contractors, The National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud (NCPHIF), a nonprofit, is coming to Topeka to educate homeowners on how to protect themselves from scams after the storms.

“The best way to control your project is to educate yourself,” says Phae Howard, a home repair fraud prevention expert and Executive Director of NCPHIF.  “It’s so frustrating to get calls from area homeowners who have already been scammed. It breaks my heart because by then, often it’s too late.  What we talk about in our workshops would have helped every single one of them.”

Topics include:

* How to recognize typical scams

* How to find and vet contractors

* What should actually be in your contract and what should not

* Insurance issues you may not know about

* Managing the building permitting process

* How to set up a payment schedule

* What to do before, during and after your project.



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