New Mexico Legal Aid

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Avoid Home Repair Fraud

  • Try to get written bids or estimates from at least three different contractors.
  • Check out the contractor: find reviews, ask around about reputation, etc.
  • Verify the license of a contractor by contacting the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Construction Industries Division at (505) 476-4700 or online.
  • Ask for references and call them.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau and courthouse for criminal history and civil cases against the contractor.
  • Be careful when dealing with contractors who have out-of-state license plates.
  • Get everything in writing.
  • Specify the work to be done.
  • Specify estimated timeline for completion of work.
  • Specify the price.
  • Don’t sign anything you don’t understand.
  • Do not pay for the entire job up front.
  • Try to pay as little as possible up front.
  • Insist on waiting to pay the full amount until after the work is finished.
  • Do not make the final payment until you have inspected the work. Make sure you are completely satisfied with the repairs.
  • Never pay in cash.

The Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Claims Office cautions claimants to be aware of post-disaster fraud and scams. Attempts to scam residents can be made over the phone, by mail or email, through the internet or in person. It is important to remain alert, as con artists are creative and resourceful. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it should be questioned. Stay aware of the following fraudulent practices:

  • Door-To -Door Solicitations
  • High Pressure Sales or Scare Tactics
  • Demand for Cash, Unusually Large Down Payments, or Advanced Full Payment
  • Special Deals or Extremely Low Bids
  • Verbal Agreements, No Written Contract
  • Out of State
  • No Permanent Place of Business
  • No Insurance
  • Inadequate References – and Reluctance to Give References

Being aware of these important clues can save you from substantial financial loss and stress. To  

Report suspicious activity of this kind to your local police department, the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 223-0814, or submit a complaint with the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. You can also report suspected fraud to the Better Business Bureau at (505) 346-0110.

How to reach us

If you’re facing a disaster-related legal issue, we’re here to assist you. Here’s how you can contact us:

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