Beware of These Chicago New Home Scams

September 19, 2012

homeowner scams article imageThe Consumer Federation of America recently released a report on the newest types of scams that are targeting homeowners. Here is what residents of Chicago new homes should know about the top 10 consumer rip-off complaints.

While the number one complaint on the list dealt with vehicle fraud (such as faulty repairs, towing disputes and unfair sales), the other top contenders on the list were credit and home improvement scams.

Credit scams (which include mortgage modification and mortgage-related fraud) came in at number two on the list, while home improvement and construction related fraud came in at number three. Many consumers reported issues relating to construction companies failing to start or complete a job, as well as providing extremely shoddy work.

Consumers also complained about unfair practices relating to household goods, such as failure to deliver, faulty repairs and misrepresentation of services.

For the first time, real estate itself made the top ten list of complaints.The culprits? Timeshare sales and resales, retirement communities and assisted living facilities and real estate fraud other than mortgage fraud.

The five fastest-growing complaints on this year’s list dealt with fraud, debt collection, do-not-call violations, mortgage abuses and home improvement.

While the reveal of these rankings may seem worrisome, the list isn’t intended to scare consumers. Instead the rankings serve as a warning to current and prospective homeowners to do as much research as possible whenever making a major home-related decision. Consumers should also never deal with anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable or who doesn’t have their best interests in mind.

If you feel you’ve been a victim of any of these scams, make sure you file a report with the Better Business Bureau.

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