News | Communication Services, 360-902-5400 - PublicAffairs@Lni.wa.gov

L&I launches ProtectMyHome campaign to fight contractor fraud

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February 14, 2013

Tumwater – A new campaign urging consumers to carefully check the credentials of anyone they hire for home repairs or remodels was launched today by the Department of Labor & Industries.

The statewide Protect My Home campaign will deliver consumer protection tips and tools via a statewide television, radio and web advertising campaign, which will drive homeowners to L&I’s new website: ProtectMyHome.net. On the site, consumers can check contractor registrations, find worksheets for screening potential contractors, and get tips on problems to watch for on different types of projects.

Mike Holmes, nationally known renovation expert, fraud-fighter, and host of HGTV’s Holmes on Homes show is the face of the campaign.  Holmes, who waived his fee for the state campaign, has built his home shows, books and columns around the subject of homeowners who end up with botched repair and renovation jobs caused by unregistered or inexperienced contractors.

Funds for the $215,000 marketing and education campaign were made available by legislation passed in 2008 requiring L&I to expand  efforts to warn citizens about the risks of hiring unregistered contractors.  The legislation, passed unanimously, was widely supported by homebuilder associations and labor.

“With the strong support of contractors and homebuilder associations, we’ve increased our efforts to identify, cite, and prosecute unscrupulous, fly-by-night contractors,” said L&I Director Joel Sacks.  “Many of these people pretend to offer low-priced repairs, but end up leaving homeowners stranded with unfinished or substandard work.

“Between 2011 and 2012, our surprise worksite inspections for unregistered contractors were up by 56 percent, increasing the number of contractors we’ve been able to find working without a bond and insurance.  Still, nothing can replace the power of informed consumers who can use our tools to screen out scammers before any damage is done.”

Consumers can file a complaint about an unregistered or fraudulent contractor by going to: www.ProtectMyHome.net and clicking on Report Fraud or by calling L&I’s Report-a-Fraud line: 888-811-5974.

See a preview L&I’s 30-second ProtectMyHome television ad with Mike Holmes

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For media information: Dana Botka, L&I Communications, 360-902-5408.

Connect with L&I: Facebook (facebook.com/laborandindustries) and Twitter (twitter.com/lniwa)

Broadcast version:
The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries today launched a new consumer protection campaign called Protect-My-Home. The statewide ads urge homeowners planning repairs or remodels to visit a new L&I website to find tools for avoiding unregistered or even fraudulent contractors. Consumers can verify registrations online, get step-by-step worksheets, and learn what questions to ask. The marketing effort has been required by the Legislature since 2008 and this year, L&I snagged celebrity consumer advocate Mike Holmes to donate his appearance in all of its advertising. For more information, go to Protect My- Home dot net.

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