Commerce Dept. Warns of Common Contractor Scam

(KCPW News) Warmer weather means summertime scams are on the rise, according to the Utah Department of Commerce. Mark Steinagel, Director of the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, says his department is already getting calls from victims reporting a scam that hits Utahns year after year.

“They say that they’re licensed contractors and try to pressure homeowners into making hasty decisions about home improvements,” he explains. “Their pressure tactics usually include a line like ‘I’ve got leftover material’ whether it be asphalt or roofing, or a little bit of time left before we leave town, and get home owners to make quick decisions.”

Steinagel says all too often the workers never show up or the work is very poorly done.

He says the scams can happen anywhere. Last year they were most prevalent in the Uintah basin area, but this year, the department has received numerous calls from Northern Utah. So, they’re issuing this warning.

“We say make sure they’re licensed; check their references and the good contractors will be fine with you checking their references and their licenses,” he says. “They’ll want you to take a little time and look at that.”

Steinagel says scammers go from state to state committing these crimes, but Utah’s Department of Commerce has teamed up with other states to exchange information, leading to some arrests.