Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March is fraud prevention month

Are you thinking about spring renovations? Wondering about that contractor you want to hire?

We’ve all heard the horror stories: people who’ve given a contractor a bundle of money for a project, only to have the job half done, not done to code or not done at all.

It’s called contractor fraud.

And to help you guard against it, The City of Calgary wants you to phone 3-1-1 to confirm that the contractor you’re thinking of hiring has a valid City business licence.

While the vast majority of contractors are legitimate business people, there are those that take advantage by promising services or products they can’t – or won’t – deliver.

To protect you, The City requires contractors to hold a valid business licence. Business licenses can be suspended or revoked, which is a strong incentive for contractors to operate with integrity.

In order to confirm that the business is legitimate, 3-1-1 needs you to have:
  • The exact business or trade name 
  • The owner’s name 
  • The business address and phone number
Business Licence Inspectors will investigate those businesses that do not appear on the list. The City currently has a total of 10,281 licensed contractors. However, The City recorded 175 complaints last year.

Kent Pallister, Chief License Inspector for The City, asks Calgarians to “be extra cautious if contractors tell you that a contract isn’t necessary or if they ask you to pay for the entire job upfront.”

If a fraud occurs, Calgarians are advised to report it to the Calgary Police Service at 266-1234. And to also notify 3-1-1 so The City’s business licence inspectors can take appropriate action.

For further information please view the Home Renovation Fraud brochure.

No comments:

Post a Comment