Ohio AG warns of traveling contractor scams after storms

By Bryan Cohen | Jun 14, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning consumers about traveling contractors who could try to take advantage of homeowners who need assistance after recent, severe storms.

Consumers who experienced damage after the storms, such as wind-damaged buildings or fallen trees, can check with the Better Business Bureau or DeWine's office before signing a contract with traveling contractors. Ohioans have three days to cancel door-to-door sales and legitimate businesses are obligated to inform Ohioans of this right.

"After severe weather hits, it's important to be vigilant about home improvement scams," DeWine said. "Some contractors track storms so that they can travel to affected communities to offer their services to homeowners who experience damage. Unfortunately many of these 'storm-chasers' do not follow Ohio laws and do nothing to help consumers."

In May, DeWine filed a lawsuit against a Columbus roofer for allegedly engaging in multiple violations of state consumer laws after targeting consumers who experienced storm damage. DeWine's office received 28 complaints against Restore It USA LLC and James Twaddle, the company's owner, after the defendants allegedly targeted storm-ravaged counties, took insurance money as upfront payments for new roofs and failed to deliver.

"Businesses are required by law to fulfill their promises to consumers," DeWine said. "When they don't, we will take action."

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