Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 24° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Residents Warned Of Scam Artists

Associated Press

As if the ravages of nature weren’t enough, Washington residents need to beware of scam artists waiting to take advantage of storm victims, state officials said Tuesday.

“As the snow melts and waters recede, scam artists often descend into a heavy-hit storm area,” Attorney General Christine Gregoire said. “They take advantage of people with innocent-sounding offers of help.”

The first con artists on the scene are usually questionable contractors who promise immediate or cheap home repairs, cleanup and remodeling, she said. Some are from out-of-state, unregistered, and take money upfront and then do either shabby work or no work at all, she said.

Gregoire and Mark Brown, director of the state Department of Labor and Industries, said consumers should ask for and check references and call (800) 647-0982 to make sure a contractor is registered with the state.

The labor department said one tip that the contractor may not be legitimate is if he or she asks the customer to pick up the building permit - a sign that the person might not be registered and fears showing up at the building department.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.