Sheriff Russell Offers Tips to Avoid Contractor Fraud

As Ouachita residents begin to repair the damage to their homes left in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Sheriff Jay Russell warns about contractor fraud that often occurs in situations such as this.  The following are some tips offered by Sheriff Russell to avoid becoming a fraud victim:

  • Always try to get three estimates that should be itemized in detail.
  • Have the contractor show you proof they are bonded and have workman’s comp and liability coverage. It is a good idea to follow up by contacting the carrier for verification.
  • Verify the contractor’s address and ask for references. Make sure the contractor is licensed through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors by calling 800-256-1392.
  • Do not agree to a large down payment. Normal range is 10% to 25% of the total cost.
  • Purchase the building material yourself if at all possible and have the material delivered to you or the job site.
  • ALWAYS get a guarantee and a written contract. Do not accept verbal agreements.
  • Pay by check or money order and keep receipts.
  • Never sign a certificate of completion or make the final payment until you are satisfied with the completed work.

If you feel you have been the victim of contractor fraud, contact the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office or the local law enforcement agency in your area as it is a criminal offense that will be investigated.

For more information regarding this type fraud and other fraud activity, visit