Date: May 2, 2013
Since the end of last year, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre has seen an increase in the number of reported contractor fraud incidents. In most cases, the victims have paid for a portion of the work to be completed and the contractor did not finish the job. For citizens who are still rebuilding from Hurricane Isaac, Sheriff Tregre recommends that everyone obtain a typed and signed contract stipulating the work to be performed, including all guarantees and warranties clearly spelled out. Customers should ask the contractor for referrals and verify the references of previous work completed. Tregre also suggests that consumers visually inspect previous jobs that the contractor completed, if possible. Citizens should require the contractor to provide proof of insurance and a Louisiana Contractor’s License. If an out of state contractor is hired, be sure that the person can provide identification and proof of insurance. When choosing a contractor, Tregre recommends that consumers review helpful websites similar to the National Center for Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud, www.ncphif.org . Sheriff Tregre said, "If you were a victim of Hurricane Isaac, do not allow yourself to be a victim of contractor fraud.