Baton Rouge - The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC) urges consumers to protect themselves from unlicensed individuals offering to make repairs on their homes or businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
“Many of our residents in the affected areas suffered devastating property damage due to Hurricane Laura,” said LSLBC Executive Director Michael McDuff. “Unlicensed contractors often solicit work after such an event to take advantage of consumers who need repairs. It is important that consumers learn to recognize fraudulent contractors and take the necessary steps to protect themselves from large monetary losses.”
Unlicensed activity is against the law, and the LSLBC and other partner agencies consider it a serious offense, especially in the state of an emergency.
“The LSLBC works to protect the safety of the public as well as the integrity of the construction industry,” McDuff said. “Unlicensed contractors not only pose a risk to consumers, but take work from qualified and licensed contractors. The elderly are especially vulnerable to contractor fraud.”
The best way to avoid contractor fraud is to verify whether a contractor is licensed or registered to do construction work in Louisiana before you make a down payment or sign a contract. There are three ways to check licensure through LSLBC:
· Download the free “La Contractor” mobile app by visiting the LSLBC website at www.lacontractor.org
· Use the contractor search function located on the LSLBC website
· Call LSLBC at 1-800-256-1392
Complaints of unlicensed activity should be reported to the LSLBC Compliance Section by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-800-256-1392. Users can also use the “La Contractor” mobile app to file a complaint or report unlicensed activity. The app allows consumers to submit complaints with descriptions and pictures directly from mobile devices.
For more information on how to avoid contractor fraud in the event of an emergency, see the “Weathering the Storm” presentation located at www.lacontractor.org.