Skip to main content

For Contractor Fraud Awareness Week, DIFS and NICB Offer Tips to Help Consumers Avoid Fraud

Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779,
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442,


(LANSING, MICH) May 20-24 is Contractor Fraud Awareness Week and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are alerting consumers to the risk of contractor fraud after severe weather. Following severe weather incidents, fraudsters claiming to be adjusters, contractors, and other service providers often go door-to-door or call claiming to offer services, like debris cleanup or home repairs. In these scams, the work may not be completed, may be completed with poor-quality materials or shoddy workmanship, or victims may be significantly overcharged for the work, costing them thousands of dollars.

“Michigan has experienced a number of severe weather events in recent months, and Contractor Fraud Awareness Week is a reminder to keep an eye out for criminals trying to cash in on the aftermath,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Making repairs and recovering from a damaging storm is stressful, but it is important not to let your guard down. Contractors and other service providers should never ask for cash in advance or rush you into signing a contract for repairs, and you should always verify their credentials and contact your insurer before hiring someone. If you suspect fraud, immediately contact local law enforcement, your insurer, the DIFS Fraud Investigation Unit, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.”

“Contractor fraud costs hardworking Americans billions of dollars every year,” said David J. Glawe, President and CEO of NICB. “After a natural disaster, fraudulent contractors work to exploit the vulnerabilities of unsuspecting homeowners with the promise of affordable renovations, repairs, or construction projects that leave behind a trail of broken promises, shoddy workmanship, and depleted savings.”

Common signs that a contractor or other service provider may try to take advantage of disaster victims include:

  • Rushing homeowners into signing a contract for their services.
  • Stating they work for “the government” or specific insurers “all the time.”
  • Asking for payment in advance, in cash, or using a peer-to-peer mobile payment app.
  • Refusing to provide the homeowner with their licensure information or other forms of identification.

To protect against unscrupulous contractors, before hiring anyone always:

  • Get at least three written estimates for the work and compare bids.
  • Check the service provider’s credentials, including licenses, references, and insurance.
  • Contact your insurer before hiring a contractor to understand your coverage and potential out-of-pocket costs for repairs.
  • Always be present in the home when damage is inspected or repaired.
  • Make sure your contract states estimated construction schedules and prices for labor and materials.
  • Get the contract in writing with no blanks on the form that could be filled in later without your knowledge.
  • Remember that adjusters are paid by the insurance company and should never ask homeowners for any payment for their services that are covered by their homeowners or renter’s policy.

The DIFS Fraud Investigation Unit investigates criminal and fraudulent activity related to the insurance and financial markets and works with the Attorney General and law enforcement to prosecute these crimes. Suspected insurance fraud can be reported to DIFS safely, easily and, in most cases, anonymously by calling 877-999-6442 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or online by visiting the department’s website. The National Insurance Crime Bureau can be reached at 1-800-TEL-NICB.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit or follow the Department on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn.