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Consumer Affairs staff has timely tips to follow post-Sandy
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t get ripped off by unscrupulous contractors or scammed by a fake charity in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“You may feel pressured to hire the first contractor you speak with because your life has been turned upside down,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Department of Consumer Affairs. “But don’t. The county’s Consumer Affairs staff has some great information and reminders for you to take into consideration before you move forward with your repairs.”
This is what consumers need to know before beginning a home repair project with a contractor:
Remember, by law your contractor must be registered with the State of New Jersey to perform work in excess of $500. You can check a contractor’s registration status at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or by calling the Monmouth County Department of Consumer Affairs at 732--431-7900.
Warning signs of unscrupulous contractors or professionals include:
Before you donate to a good cause,do a bit of investigation to make sure your money goes to help victims, hotline a scammer’s pockets.
Call the Department of Consumer Affairs to find out whether the charity is registered to solicit in New Jersey.You can reach the county office at 732-431-7900, or call the state Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-242-5846.
Learn exactly how the charity plans to use your money. Find out how much it has spent on actual programs, fundraising and management costs. Call Consumer Affairs to verify this information.
Be generous, but be cautious!
Additional information about consumer affairs can be found on the county Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com and the state Division of Consumer Affairs can be found at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov
The Monmouth County Consumer Affairs department is a law enforcement agency, created and funded by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It protects against consumer fraud and dishonest and unscrupulous business practices by enforcing the state Consumer Fraud Act and other regulations.
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