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Sniffing out scammers: Meeting will focus on rebuilding after fire

January 9, 2018

Fake contractors have been known to target residents in areas recently impacted by disaster. That’s why representatives from the Contractors State License Board will be in Loma Rica Tuesday night to tell residents about the risks associated with hiring an unlicensed contractor and ways of protecting themselves from scammers.

“We are reaching a point now that cleanup is done, so many will be taking steps toward rebuilding,” said Russ Brown, public information officer for Yuba County. “Tuesday night’s meeting will be to talk about that process with residents. But another reason is so that we can bring in the Contractors State License Board and have them talk about what happens almost consistently in these areas that are impacted by devastation across the country.”

Brown said scammers or unlicensed contractors target people recovering from a disaster. That’s why the county contacted the state board to have them inform residents on ways of identifying fakes.

“They have lists that can be helpful in verifying a contractor. They can also help by showing residents what kind of things contractors will and will not do, including things like down payments or various promises,” Brown said. “Our community needs to know what to watch for, what to expect, what’s reasonable and how to go about checking a license.”

Tuesday’s meeting will be at the Loma Rica Foothill Lions Club, 5667 Fruitland Road., starting at 5:30 p.m. For those unable to attend the meeting, Brown said the county plans on live-streaming the event on social media.

In addition to the state board, Brown said representatives from the Yuba County Building Department will be at the meeting to answer residents’ questions about the rebuilding process and next steps.

“We are still a year or two back from fully recovering from the recent disaster, so we are trying to do these types of meetings every now and then to keep people updated, allow them a chance to ask us questions, and for us to get a better understanding of what people need,” Brown said.