Special to The Sun
OKLA. CITY —
Homeowners dealing with storm damage, fire damage or renovations can learn how to protect themselves from fraud at a free forum hosted by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and the National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud.
“Unfortunately, Oklahoma is very familiar with rebuilding after a disaster,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Every time we have a storm or wildfire, we see these fly-by-night guys come in and take advantage of people who are already going through a very difficult time. We need to do all we can to protect Oklahoma consumers.”
The consumer protection forum will address several issues related to home repair including: how to hire a contractor, how to check out a contractor, what should be in a contract, how the building permit process works, why you need a lien release and more.
“Disaster/storm victims are especially vulnerable to contractor fraud,” said Phae Howard, a home repair fraud prevention expert and Executive Director of NCPHIF. “After a disaster hits, predatory contractors take advantage of stressed-out and uninformed homeowners, making them victims, twice.”
The forum is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 24 at the Northwest Library, 5600 N.W. 122nd St., Oklahoma City. Interested parties are encouraged to preregister by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (855) 2-NOFRAUD.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
The National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. NCPHIF’s mission is to inform, educate and coach homeowners on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of home repair/improvement contractor fraud and scams. To learn more about NCPHIF, visit preventcontractorfraud.org.