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WV Attorney General warns about home improvement scams

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CHARLESTON, WV -

The West Virginia Attorney General's Office received a total of 81 home improvement complaints, making it one of the most common areas of complaints the Consumer Protection Division receives.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning West Virginia consumers to check contractors' backgrounds and licenses before hiring them for fall home improvement or winterization projects.

"Most contractors run trustworthy businesses; we just don't want to see consumers ripped off by the very few bad apples who may be operating in a local community," Morrisey said in a news release. "Those few bad players can be very convincing and may appear to be trustworthy individuals who genuinely want to give you a good deal.

"The key to protecting yourself is to fully vet any contractor before signing a contract and to inspect his or her work whenever possible."

Some common contractor scam scenarios include contractors who are not licensed or door-to-door workers offering to provide discounted work with leftover materials from a previous job or a contractor who never returns to finish a job that's been paid for.

Consumers can check with the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board at 304-558-7890 to see if a contractor has a valid license. The Attorney General's Office includes several other tips for hiring home contractors on its website at www.wvago.gov/publicresource.cfm and its Consumer Protection Division can be reached at 1-800-368-8808.