OLYMPIA, March 4, 2011 – If that contractor’s bid seems too good to be true, maybe that’s because it probably is. Fortunately, you can protect your pocketbook by checking with the state before it’s too late.
Go to suspectfraud.wa.gov to see if a business is registered and in good standing before you sign on the dotted line. The site developed in partnership with the Department of Revenue, Labor and Industries and Employment Security also allows consumers to report cases of suspected fraud.
The agencies are highlighting the website in recognition of Governor Chris Gregoire’s naming of March 6 through 12 as Washington Consumer Protection Week. This coincides with National Consumer Protection Week, http://www.consumer.gov/ncpw/.
Gregoire said the vast majority of businesses are fair and honest, and shouldn’t be undercut by fly-by-night contractors, movers and other con artists trying to make a fast buck by doing poor jobs and gouging customers.
“Knowledge is the best defense, and state agencies have combined forces to make it easier than ever for the public to check with the state before it’s too late,” Gregoire said.
Revenue Director Suzan DelBene said the site complements the agency’s ongoing efforts to reduce an underground economy of businesses that don’t pay taxes, play by the rules or deliver on their promises.
“People may think that getting the lowest price is paramount, but sometimes you get a lot less than what you pay for,” she said.
Links on suspectfraud.wa.gov allow consumers to check to see if a registered business is properly licensed, owes the state taxes, has had complaints filed against it, or is the subject of state enforcement actions.