While frozen water pipes are bursting all over the area, Palo Pinto County District Attorney Kriste Burnett is warning Palo Pinto County residents to beware of plumbing scam artists who will take residents' money up front and do little to no work.
“We have seen this type of reprehensible behavior from crooked roofers during the hail storms of years past,” Burnett said. “Contractors can take advantage of your vulnerable position to scam you out of hundreds and thousands of dollars.”
Burnett noted that contractors might 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.
“We all want our houses fixed and life to go back to normal,” she said. “Just don’t get taken in the process. Governor Abbott announced this week that the state is relaxing its licensing requirements for plumbers coming in from out of state, so we may see an influx of people/contractors with whom our local citizens are not familiar.
"It is very important to get the information listed above and check out whom you are hiring. Also, please look out for your elderly family members, friends and neighbors who are often times the main victims of scammers. If you do fall victim to a plumbing or home repair scam, you should file a report with your local law enforcement agency.”