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Tips to avoid getting scammed with wind damage repairs

Wednesday's massive windstorm means home repairs are in store for many across Western New York.

Here are some tips for consumers to avoid getting a raw deal from unscrupulous contractors, according to the State Attorney General's Office:

  • Shop around for the best price. Get at least three estimates for the work you need.
  • Get something in writing. Make sure to get a written contract that includes the price and description of work.
  • Never pay full price up front. Don't pay an unreasonable sum in advance of having the work done. Negotiate with the contractor a payment schedule that is tied to completion of the work, in stages if needed.
  • Check references. In addition to checking with the Better Business Bureau, talk to neighbors, suppliers, banks and other businesses about candidates to complete the work. Contact those references.
  • Know that you have three days to cancel a home improvement contract after signing. All cancellations must be in writing.

Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a scam or who wants to file a complaint should call the State Attorney General's Consumer Frauds Bureau at 800-771-7755 or visit ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/Filing-a-Consumer-Complaint.

To look up a business' rating with the Better Business Bureau, visit their website.

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