KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas (Kaufman County District Attorney's Office) — While frozen water pipes are bursting all over the area, Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Norville Wiley is warning Kaufman County residents to beware of plumbing scam artists who will take your money up front and do little to no work.
“This type of unconscionable behavior has occurred in the past from crooked roofers after hail storms or tornado damage in our area. Unfortunately, contractors can take advantage of people in vulnerable positions scamming folks out of hundreds and thousands of dollars.” Said Wiley.
Wiley noted that contractors may start visiting residents’ doors or cold calling to ask if plumbing work is needed. She says to ask questions, get a copy of their driver’s license and licensing and bonding credentials, get a contract in writing, and never pay a large amount of money up front. Consumers can also check resources like the Better Business Bureau, area Chambers of Commerce, Angie’s List, etc. or ask for – and follow up on – reliable references.
“Another great resource is the Texas Department of Insurance website, tdi.texas.gov. This website has a portal to provide help to consumers whether the damage is from a pipe burst or fallen tree limbs. There are tips to help consumers start the claim process, pick a contractor, and report price gouging. Consumers should also contact their homeowner’s insurance carrier for a list of reliable and recommended contractors. “
“We all want our houses fixed and life to go back to normal,” she said. “Just don’t get taken in the process because there are resources and helpful information available to Texans.”