Media Contact: Vicki Elaine Becker (574) 296-1888

“Repairing your home is a good thing. Losing money on shoddy or nonexistent repairs is a bad thing! National Consumer Protection Week, March 4-10, is a time to learn to be a wise consumer and not become a victim”, says Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Elaine Becker.

According to the Better Business Bureau, “red flags” that will help you spot a scam include cash-only deals, high-pressure sales tactics, high upfront payments and handshake deals without a contract. “Citizens should be cautious if someone you’ve never seen before says they are working in your neighborhood and claims to have leftover supplies,” said Prosecutor Becker. “Always ask for references from anyone working on your home and follow up by speaking to other customers or going to see the quality of work performed. Dishonest contractors may be reluctant to tell you who they’ve worked for or become less enthusiastic about your project if they find you’re going to be a smart consumer.”

If you have been scammed or suspect a scam, try to get the “contractor’s” license plate or other identifying information and contact your local police.

There are several ways to help yourself and others: • The Better Business Bureau has a Scam Tracker Program where you can report a scam or check one out: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us • The Better Business Bureau also provides a sensible list of 10 steps to avoid scams: https://www.bbb.org/avoidscams/ • The Indiana Attorney General has a consumer protection division for filing consumer complaints: https://secure.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2350.htm • The U.S. Government has a consumer complaint web page that provides detailed information to file various consumer complaints: https://www.usa.gov/consumer-complaints

“Be cautious with your personal information and employ a healthy skepticism to protect yourself,” reminds Prosecutor Becker.



“Under Indiana law, all persons arrested for a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”