Springfield Township is advising the public to be on the alert for contractor scams.
There have been several reports of contractors and "possible" scammers in the Township that have been soliciting property owners to make insurance claims based on the damages resulting from the severe storm on July 21, 2021. While legitimate contractors will file a claim to conduct repairs to your home, scammers use your information to make illegitimate claims and receive funds from insurance companies.
If you or your neighbor are approached by a door-to-door sales person offering to assist you with repairs to your home, please be sure to ask that individual for proof that they have obtained a peddling and soliciting license from the Springfield Township Police Department. Please be advised that registration with the police department does not ensure that the individual is a reputable contractor, but will ensure that the necessary contact information is available in the event that a homeowner experiences any subsequent issues.
Other Tips to Avoid a Contractor Scam
Fortunately there are a ways to avoid falling for a contractor scam. Springfield Township's Department of Community Development (also known as Building & Permits) have shared seven tips that anyone in the Township can use to avoid a contractor scam:
- Ask for their state registration number - Legitimate contractors are required to be registered with the State Attorney General’s Office.
- Always ask for a copy of the contractor’s insurance certificate/s - All contractors registered with the State Attorney General’s Office are required to have liability insurance and if they have employees, worker’s compensation insurance.
- Ask for all estimates in writing - Staff also suggests that all property owners obtain at least three bids before signing any contract.
- Research your contractor - The Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Google and other on-line sites provide reviews on contractors.
- Speak to your neighbors, friends and family members when seeking a contractor - Nothing is better than direct knowledge from someone you know.
- Never allow a contractor to have control of your insurance claim - Stay involved to ensure that what is being discussed is in your best interest and will provide the outcome you seek.
- Review any contract or estimates before you sign it - See who is responsible for the permit, who is paying the permit fee and always make sure the contractor is listed on the permit application.
If there are questions concerning what requires a permit, please feel free to contact our office. Please note that the Township and its staff do not recommend contractors, nor do they provide a list of contractors in the area.